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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    In the framework of the #EURegionsWeek 2018,  the European Commission (DG REGIO) and Interact are organising the "Interreg Talks: 6 projects, 1 Slam". 

    The aim of this project slam is to make projects' results more visible to the targets and audience of this major event. The Project Slam session will present high impact co-operation projects in an entertaining and easy way to the audience attending the #EURegionsWeek.

    A call for proposals is now open to Interreg Programmes (including Interreg-IPA CBC and ENI Programmes) in order to identify good projects and results to be showcased by the voice of their protagonists, showing off the added value of co-operation. 

    Have a look at the call for proposal, deadline 3 June 2018! 

    For any information you can contact: 

    Launched exactly one year ago - on 1st March 2017 - by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional & Urban Policy thanks to the European Regional & Development Fund (ERDF), the “Interreg Volunteer Youth” (IVY) initiative aims at involving young volunteers to support, promote and report the concrete  achievements of Interreg programmes and projects, as well as generally promote cooperation across European borders and related values such as solidarity. IVY is part of the broader European Solidarity Corps (ESC) initiative launched by the European Commission and is indeed contributing to spread and enhance a sense of solidarity and civic awareness among an increasing number of young Europeans.

    The strength of IVY is to create a win-win situation: there are indeed only winners. Firstly, the volunteers who acquire a unique experience of personal growth as well as enhance and gain skills that they can employ in their future personal, professional, formal and non-formal adventures. Secondly, the host organisations, being Interreg Programmes or project beneficiaries, who get valuable support and have the chance to make their activities more effective and visible thanks to the volunteers’ fresh and out-of-the-box way of thinking.

    After only one year since its launch, the initiative – managed by the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) – has proven to deliver the expected results: IVY has already involved over 100 volunteers coming from 21 EU countries and deployed in 76 host organisations in 20 EU member states. The volunteers operate in a wide variety of Interreg missions such as: teaching school children at the German-French border about cross-border cooperation with creative games; helping young people find a job in the Danube area; supporting shared projects on the health systems in Estonia and Germany ; putting research skills at the benefit of a project ensuring long-term sustainability of water supply, treatment and end-use in Irish and Welsh regions. Many more examples and stories can be found in the IVY blog where volunteers share their experiences & impressions on being part of the Interreg world. 

    The IVY pilot phase has officially been extended until end of August 2018 so to allow more and more participants to the advantage of such a successful initiative.

    In order to celebrate the first year of IVY, a social media campaign will take place between 1st March (start of IVY) and the 20th March  (first IVY & ESC deployment ever) 2018. The social media campaign (mainly on Facebook and Twitter) will consist of a series of videos shot by volunteers where they will share some of their thoughts & feelings as an engaged young EU citizen and based on their IVY experience. 

    How to jointly address the societal and economic challenges in the food sector thanks to innovation. This ambitious yet practical objective is the starting point for the networking workshop on "Application of ICT and Advanced Manufacturing Solutions in the Food Supply Chain" which will take place in Budapest (Hungary) on 4-5 April 2018. The event will bring together all relevant regional actors from Central Europe and stimulate them to identify common ICT and advanced manufacturing solutions in driving the change in the food processing and supply chain. Enterprises, intermediaries including food industry federations, chambers of industry and agriculture, research centres, higher education, research and innovation agencies, funding agencies and clusters will thus foster regional cooperation based on the shared goals and synergies of the respective smart specialisation strategies.

    The workshop is organised by the Campden BRI Magyarország Nonprofit Kft. and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia - Chamber of Agricultural and Food Enterprises, with the support of the European Commission Directorate General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO) and in cooperation with the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Hungary). It is part of the Commission's Central European Cooperation in Smart Specialisation Initiative. Launched at the end of 2016 by DG REGIO, this Initiative helps stakeholders of the macro region and their local industries cooperate and pool their resources in order to develop innovative products and expand beyond local markets. The initiative aims at fostering tight partnership among innovation actors and researchers, matching smart specialisation priorities and exploiting identified synergies, complementary resources and strengths. 

    Registrations are now open. Please visit the event page on the S3 Platform!

    For more information:

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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:
-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


European Territorial Cooperation: building bridges between people