Interreg : European Territorial Co-operation

European Territorial Cooperation (ETC), better known as Interreg,  is one of the two goals of cohesion policy and provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different Member States. The overarching objective of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) is to promote a harmonious economic, social and territorial development of the Union as a whole. Interreg is built around three strands of cooperation: cross-border (Interreg A), transnational (Interreg B) and interregional (Interreg C).
Five programming periods of Interreg have succeeded each other:
 INTERREG I (1990-1993) -  INTERREG II (1994-1999) - INTERREG III (2000-2006) - INTERREG IV (2007-2013) - INTERREG V (2014-2020)

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News

    The Autumn issue of Panorama magazine is now available to download, and it covers a wide range of topics from urban issues to international cooperation and energy policy.

    Our country focus this time is on Lithuania. In our interview Vilius Šapoka, Minister of Finance, explains how Lithuania has used EU funding to enhance his country’s competitiveness and productivity through investment in business development. This is illustrated with detailed profiles of five new projects. Captured on Camera explores projects funded in the German region of Rhineland-Palatinate.

    We look at how cohesion policy is supporting sustainable energy and a low-carbon society, our strategic partnerships with cities around the world through the International Urban Cooperation programme, and highlight the results of a recent report into doing business in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Slovakia.

    We reveal the winners of this year’s EUinmyregion photo and blogging competitions, and look back at the recently completed Road Trip project, catching up with all eight young participants in Berlin at the end of their adventures. The projects section visits Gibraltar, Romania and Germany.

    Panorama 66: Lithuania, building a smarter future

     

    The final version of the e-book Connecting Cultures, Connected Citizens is now available online!

    The booklet presents some of the most interesting and exciting Interreg projects that have received the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 label.

    Some of the initiatives financed from the European Regional Development Fund, including the Interreg programmes, constitute some of the prime examples of how the European Union can help to better protect, safeguard, reuse, enhance, valorise and promote our cultural heritage.

    This collection of successful initiatives will be officially presented during the European Week of Regions and Cities 2018 in Brussels.

    Download the final version of the e-book Connecting Cultures, Connected Citizens

    In early 2018, the Interreg Europe programme launched a study to look into the long-term effects of interregional cooperation projects that run 2007 and 2014 and were funded by the programme’s predecessor, INTERREG IVC. The report about the study with 20 project stories is published now. 

    The study reached out to 1200+ partners from 150 INTERREG IVC projects with a survey asking about the policy changes and their effects in their regions. 4 respondents out of 5 reported that a policy change took place in their region thanks to their interregional cooperation project. Most frequently, the projects led to the implementation of a new activity or initiative, which had a long-term effect in their territory, as majority of the respondents declared. 

    Interregional cooperation works!

    Three years of soft cooperation with partners from all over Europe brings clear benefits to involved regions:

    • in Romania, clusters now have a new excellence support scheme which improves their management, built around good practices shared by partners from France, Austria and Hungary (CLUSTERIX);
    • Linz in Austria has a new co-working space for cultural and creative industries inspired by a good practice from Finland (CREA.RE);
    • Oakenshaw in the UK stood behind a windmill construction, which now provides the community with regular revenue for other energy efficiency projects, thanks to the experience shared by the Danish project partner (RENERGY);
    • Linköping in Sweden developed a new urban gardening and outdoor learning approach as a means to social cohesion in their community with the help of the project partner from Italy (Hybrid Parks). 

    Keen to learn more? More stories in in-depth interviews, describing the policy changes and their effects are published now. Visit the dedicated website: https://www.interregeurope.eu/projectresults/

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Introduction

In 1990, Interreg was developed as a Community Initiative in with a budget of just EUR 1 billion covering exclusively cross-border cooperation. Later, Interreg has been extended to transnational and interregional cooperation. For 2014-2020 European territorial cooperation is one of the two goals of Cohesion Policy besides investment for Growth and Job.

Interreg evolution

The 25th anniversary of Interreg has been celebrated in 2015 with a variety of events around Europe. Over the years, Interreg has become the key instrument of the European Union to support cooperation between partners across borders. The aim: to tackle common challenges together and find shared solutions - whether in the field of health, research and education, transport or sustainable energy.

2014-2020 period – Interreg V

In accordance with the new design of the European Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 and the targets set out in Europe 2020, Interreg has significantly been reshaped to achieve greater impact and an even more effective use of the investments. Key elements of the 2014-2020 reform are:
-Concentration
-Simplification
-Results orientation
The fifth period of Interreg is based on 11 investment priorities laid down in the ERDF Regulation contributing to the delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. At least, 80% of the budget for each cooperation programme has to concentrate on a maximum of 4 thematic objectives among the eleven EU priorities:

11 priorities

The fifth programming period of Interreg has a budget of EUR 10.1 billion invested in over 100 cooperation programmes between regions and territorial, social and economic partners. This budget also includes the ERDF allocation for Member States to participate in EU external border cooperation programmes supported by other instruments (Instrument for Pre-Accession and European Neighborhood Instrument).

  • 60 Cross-border – Interreg V-A, along 38 internal EU borders. ERDF contribution: EUR 6.6 billion.
  • 15 Transnational – Interreg V-B, covering larger areas of co-operation such as the Baltic Sea, Alpine and Mediterranean regions, as well as some non-EU countries. ERDF contribution: EUR 2.1 billion.
  • The interregional co-operation programme, INTERREG Europe, and 3 networking programmes (Urbact III, Interact III and ESPON) covering all 28 Member States of the EU, as well as Norway and Switzerland and in case of URBACT also Iceland and Lichtenstein. They provide a framework for exchanging experience between regional and local bodies in different countries. ERDF contribution: EUR 500 million.

Interreg Budget

Interreg and inter-regional cooperation 2014-2020: state of play - video recording of the briefing (07/05/2015)

2007-2013 period – Interreg IV

The forth programming period of Interreg had a total budget of EUR 8.7 billion (2, 5 % of the total 2007-13 allocation for cohesion policy). This budget includes the allocation for Member States to participate in EU external border cooperation programmes supported by other instruments (Instrument for Pre-Accession and European Neighborhood Instrument). The budget was distributed as follows:

  • 60 Cross-border – Interreg IV-A, along 38 internal EU borders. ERDF contribution: EUR 5.6 billion.
  • 13 Transnational – Interreg IV-B, covering larger areas of co-operation such as the Baltic Sea, Alpine and Mediterranean regions. ERDF contribution: EUR 1.8 billion.
  • The interregional co-operation programme (INTERREG IVC) and 3 networking programmes (Urbact II, Interact II and ESPON) cover all 28 Member States of the EU. They provide a framework for exchanging experience between regional and local bodies in different countries. ERDF contribution: EUR 445 million.

The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation

Meetings & Events

Interreg Annual Meeting April 26-28 2017

Interreg Annual Meeting June 6-7 2016

Interreg Annual Meeting September 15 2015

Interreg Annual Meeting May 19-20 2014

European Territorial Cooperation Annual Meeting 2013

Annual meeting of cross-border programmes 2011

Publications

European Territorial Cooperation: building bridges between people