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)
- "Investing in jobs and growth – Maximising the contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds"
- Annex I - European Territorial Cooperation / INTERREG
- Annex II – Country fiches
- Annexes III and IV Overall assessment of additionality and timing of submission and adoption of partnership agreements and programmes
- MEMO/15/6296-"Investing in jobs and growth – Maximising the contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds"
- Jobs, Growth and Investment
- The Digital Single Market
- The Energy Union and Climate-change policies
- The Internal Market
- The Economic and Monetary Union
- Justice and Fundamental Rights
Maximising the contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds to the Commission's priorities - (07/01/2016)
The Commission adopted a Communication on the contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) to the EU's growth strategy, the Investment Plan and the Commission's priorities over the next decade. The report also includes the outcomes of the negotiations with all the Member States on Partnership Agreements and programmes and the key challenges per country.
For example, over 2014-2020, the Funds will invest €121 billion in research & innovation, ICT and support to small businesses throughout Europe.Two million companies will be directly supported by the Funds, to boost their competitiveness and increase their research and innovation capacity. Almost 15 million households will have access to high-speed broadband thanks to the European Regional Development Fund, while almost 20 million people in rural areas will have new or improved ICT services or infrastructure with the support of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
Reformed for the 2014-2020 period, the ESI Funds have a clear focus on four key growth-generating sectors: research & innovation, digital technologies, the support to the low-carbon economy and to small businesses. Performance-oriented and in line with the European Semester and Country Specific Recommendations, ESI Funds investments will establish the right conditions for quality projects to flourish, for businesses to thrive and for the people's everyday life to improve, all leading to a new start in Europe.
In 2014-2020, €454 billion from the EU budget - €637 billion with national co-financing included - will be invested in Europe's cities and regions through more than 500 ESI Funds programmes. The ESI Funds are an important part of public investments in the EU; between 2014 and 2016, the ESI Funds are expected to account for approximately 14% of total public investment on average, and to reach up to 70% in some Member States.
As foreseen by the Article 16 of the Common Provisions Regulation, this Communication presents the main results of the negotiations between Member States, their partners, including regional and local actors, and the Commission on the Partnership Agreements and the programmes. It includes an overview of the key issues for each Member State in Annex II, while Annex I focuses on the Interregional cooperation programmes.
To ensure maximum transparency for the public, the Commission is launching today a new Open Data Platform for ESI Funds to show the progress in the implementation of ESI Funds programmes.
Factsheets on the contribution of ESI Funds to the Commission's priorities:
"Business without borders: the EU’s internal market" - Contribution of the European Structural and Investment Funds to the 10 Commission Priorities - (18/12/2015)
The Single Market is one of the EU’s major achievements and is the economic backbone of the Union, creating much needed jobs and growth. With people, goods, services and capital moving more freely than ever before, new opportunities have opened up for consumer, workers, and businesses.
The wide range of European Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF) support on offer to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) will help to achieve a deeper and fairer internal market with a solid industrial base. Types of support funded by ESI programmes could include research and innovation, business development and modernisation, organisation of the food supply chain, entrepreneurship, incubation, technological transfer, internationalisation, energy efficiency and support to clusters.
The use of the ESIF in other key areas such as in infrastructure investments, administrative capacity, and cross-border cooperationwill also help to strengthen the Single Market’s industrial base.
Bringing candidate countries closer to the EU with cross-border cooperation: Commission adopts a programme for Italy, Albania and Montenegro - (16/12/2015)
Yesterday the European Commission adopted the new cross-border cooperation programme for Italy, Montenegro and Albania, worth nearly €93 million, with almost €79 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). This is the last cross-border cooperation programme to be adopted in 2015.
In line with the EU Strategy for the Adriatic Ionian Region, the programme focuses on five priorities:
1) Strengthening the cross-border cooperation and competitiveness of SMEs: support will be provided to local small businesses to contribute to their internationalisation and develop cross-border markets.
2) Smart management of the border region's natural and cultural heritage: under this priority the programme will invest in the development of environmentally friendly tourism activities and in new cultural products and services.
3) Environment protection, risk management and low-carbon strategy: EU investments will support a strategic and cross-border approach on water landscapes, innovative practices and tools to reduce carbon gas emissions and improved energy efficiency in public buildings.
4) Improving cross-border connectivity and promoting sustainable transport systems
5) Technical assistance, to ensure the sound and effective implementation of the programme.
25 years ago this year, 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 near investment for Growth and Job. The 25th anniversary of Interreg is being celebrated this year with a variety of events around Europe culminating in a ceremony on European Cooperation Day in Luxembourg on 15-16 September. 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.
Interreg programmes are funded by the European Regional Development Fund to support the harmonious development of the European Union's territory at different levels. Interreg has three types of programmes: cross-border, transnational and interregional.
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:
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:
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.
- 12 IPA Cross-border: Instrument for Pre-Accession and European Neighborhood Instrument
- 16 ENI Cross-border :International Cooperation and Development
- 15 Transnational – Interreg V-B, covering larger areas of co-operation such as the Baltic Sea, Alpine and Mediterranean regions. ERDF contribution: EUR 2.1 billion.
- The interregional co-operation programme, INTERREG Europe, and 3 networking programmes (Urbact III, Interact III 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 500 million.
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.
Meetings & Events
- Lazos-Liens-Loturak: Taking a cross-border approach to helping young people in the Pyrenees
- Raising the competitiveness bar in the Central Baltic region
- Establishing a German-Polish emergency preparedness system to combat large-scale river contamination stemming from man-made or natural environmental disasters