Operational Programme 'France (Channel) – England'
Programme under the European Territorial Co-operation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
On 19 September 2008 the European Commission approved a Cross-border Co-operation Operational Programme between France and the United Kingdom for the period 2007-2013. This programme involves Community support for the following regions: Somme, Seine-Maritime, Calvados, Manche, Côtes-d'Armor, Finisterre, Ille-et-Vilaine (in France); Norfolk, Suffolk, Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock, Essex CC, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex CC, West Sussex, Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire CC, Isle of Wight, the Medway Towns, Kent CC, Bournemouth and Poole, Dorset CC, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Plymouth, Torbay, Devon CC (in the United Kingdom).
The regions of Oise, Eure, Orne, Morbihan and Pas de Calais in France, and also Somerset, Wiltshire CC, Surrey and Cambridgeshire CC in the United Kingdom, which are eligible to participate in the projects as adjacent areas, receive a maximum of 20% of the ERDF funding allocated to the programme.
The total budget of the Programme is about €328 million, with Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounting to some €173 million. This represents approximately 1.98% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Co-operation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013.
1. Aim and purpose of the programme
The France (Channel)-England Operational Programme (OP) is a maritime programme. The English Channel – which is a border as well as an international and cross-border transport corridor – is today becoming a bridge between the seaboards of France and England. For a host of reasons 'the Channel' is a source of acute challenges and opportunities, and it is in this light that previous efforts – as part of the England-France INTERREG IIIA programme, the Rives Manche programme and the Transmanche programme – have demonstrated the relevance of a cross-border co-operation programme with the sea as focal point.
One of the common features of the two eligible areas is the proximity of each to their respective capital cities. This has benefits, such as strong economic spill-over effects, but also entails challenges related to the social and environmental problems of densely populated and congested areas. The eligible areas have now adopted regional development plans, which support the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies.
The strategic aim of the France (Channel)-England 2007-13 OP is to support the emergence of a common area of citizenship and instil a sense of belonging to a cross-border area with a unique identity through the development of durable co-operation between partners on both sides of the cross-border zone, as part of a three-pronged approach involving business innovation and economic competitiveness, social cohesion, and sustainable development.
Co-operation sustainability must be based on an awareness of shared interests and also grounded in collective project activities. This was made clear by the lessons drawn from the previous programme. Enlargement of the eligible area makes this even more important as it implies supporting the mobility and training of citizens and the improvement of mutual understanding.
2. Expected impact of investments
It is expected that the France - England cross-border co-operation programme will contribute to:
- promoting the learning of each other’s language and culture (including shared cultural and heritage related activities);
- reinforcing mutual understanding by sharing approaches and identifying common issues. This will stimulate efforts to allow the programming area to become a ‘learning region’ and boost business and excellence in research;
- supporting the creation of new enterprises and business services;
- promoting long-lasting co-operation in maritime activities;
- developing concrete solutions to problems of social inclusion;
- diversifying the range of tourist activities on offer;
- promoting renewable energies;
- improving environmental risk management and raising awareness of environmental issues.
The Operational Programme is structured along the following priority axes:
Priority 1: Reinforce the sense of belonging to a common space of citizenship and raise awareness of common interests [approximately 10.1% of total funding]
This priority seeks to develop cooperative activities across maritime borders and enhance social cohesion and cultural identity, while upholding the requirements of sustainable development. In this context, networks of cross-border organizations will be created so as to foster co-operation activities.
Priority 2: Build partnerships for cross-border economic development and centres of excellence [approximately 32.1% of total funding]
This priority aims to:
- identify and support ‘clusters’ of cross-border economic excellence;
- boost cross-border economic development (including trade) by bolstering a business support service system and creating new companies;
- promote co-operation in the maritime sector.
Priority 3: Build an attractive region to live in and visit [approximately 23.3% of total funding]
This priority seeks to find solutions to problems of social inclusion, develop joint cultural activities and improve tourism by diversifying the range of activities on offer.
Priority 4: Ensure a sustainable environmental development of the common space [approximately 30.4% of total funding]
This priority aims to promote renewable energies and protect the environment (including raising awareness of environmental issues and risk management as regards environmental damage).
Priority 5: Technical Assistance [approximately 4% of total funding]
There are provisions for technical assistance for implementing the Operational Programme. Financial support is available and covers administration, monitoring, evaluation and control; and information and communication.
Financial and Technical information
Operational Programme 'France (Channel) – England'
Intervention TypeOperational Programme
Number of decisionC/2008/5089
Final approval date19/09/2008
Breakdown of finances by priority axis
|Priority Axis||EU Investment||National Public Contribution||Total Public Contribution|
|Reinforce the sense of belonging to a common space of citizenship and raise awareness of common interests||17 275 194||15 946 333||33 221 527|
|Build partnerships for cross-border economic development and centres of excellence||54 691 464||50 484 428||105 175 892|
|Build an attractive region to live in and visit||39 732 946||36 676 566||76 409 512|
|Ensure a sustainable environmental development of the common space||51 825 582||47 838 998||99 664 580|
|Technical Assistance||9 930 660||3 310 220||13 240 880|
|Total||173 455 846||154 256 545||327 712 391|
Managing authorityConseil régional de Haute Normandie Hôtel de Région
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