"Two Rivers, one Goal ": A cross-border region where rivers connect, not divide

What?

The project “Two Rivers, one Goal” aimed to strengthen cross-border cooperation between Hungary and Croatia by developing water-based tourism along the Mura and Drava rivers, as well as to support economic development by promoting and conserving natural and cultural heritage. The project developed a comprehensive plan to promote water-based tourism in a cross-border area by upgrading infrastructure and make them more sustainable, valorising culture and traditions, and diversifying the tourism offer with sport options. The initiative resulted in an economic and cultural boost, as well as the valorisation of the area's rich natural landscape.

Who?

The partners involved in the project were: the Mura Region (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation between Croatia and Hungary), and the Croatian Municipalities of Goričan, Donji Vidovec, and Legrad.

Where?

The project impacted the areas of the Međimurje and Koprivnica-Križevačka counties in Croatia, and the Zala region in Hungary. These areas are adjacent to the rivers Mur and Drava, crossing the borders of the two countries.

A map containing the location of the initiative.
Source: Mura Region ETT website

How?

INTERREG cross-border cooperation program Hungary-Croatia 2014-2020 for a total value of €842,285.50 with an ERDF co-financing of 85%, amounting in total to €751,942.67. The project was implemented from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2019.

Results

The project established a tourist information point in the centre of Goričan (Croatia), on the Mur River, which provides tourists with relevant information about possible cross-border trips, events, and initiatives. In addition, infrastructure was built alongside the rivers to make the area more accessible and appealing to tourists: boats and mobile piers were arranged along the borders of both rivers and two boat storages were built, along with public lighting, bicycle paths, beaches, outdoor fitness equipment, and children's attractions. Finally, a Vidov Goldsmiths Memorial Center was established, with the goal of promoting the gold panning tradition.

The project took a holistic approach, valuing the cross-border region's cultural, traditional, and natural potential, resulting in an economic and social boost for the area that could be replicated in other regions willing to exploit their natural resources to promote local development.

The initiative is being carried on by the project "Two Rivers One Goal II," which is funded by the Hungary-Croatia Cross-border Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A and plans to construct a road bridge between Murakeresztr (Hungary) and Kotoriba (Croatia).

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