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)
10 Things to Know About Transnational Cooperation
Interreg transnational cooperation programmes have been operational for more than 20 years, implementing actions in the framework of the EU Cohesion Policy. These programmes bring together European regions and cities that are located in different countries yet are sharing many challenges and opportunities due to their common geography, history, and culture.
The geographic and cultural similarities defining the transnational programme areas provide an excellent basis for cooperation. In transnational projects, actors from the private and public sectors, universities and civil society organisations work closely together to advance new or improved solutions designed to meet the most pressing needs of their populations. But what does that mean in real terms? What do transnational cooperation projects and their results imply for the regions, cities, and citizens? Whilst it is impossible to present the full scope, diversity and added value of transnational cooperation in just a few pages, the publication '10 Things to Know About Transnational Cooperation' aims at providing a flavour of what is the role and achievements of Interreg transnational/interregional programmes across Europe.
The document was prepared by an informal working group including representatives from Interreg transnational programmes and Interreg Europe, with the support and facilitation of Interact.
Reducing residues in French and Spanish meat products
An ERDF-funded project is aiming to develop a new analytical system and tools for testing antibiotic residues in marketed meat in French and Spanish regions.
The project will develop easy-to-use, do-it-yourself tests for antibiotic residues found in meat samples. In order to achieve accurate results, the project will also develop a reference bank of samples and new analytical tools for the better detection of residues and more accurate interpretation of the data.
Around 4 000 samples will be taken from meat on sale in supermarkets in the regions of Perpignan and Toulouse in France and Bilbao, Logroño and Zaragoza in Spain.
The outcomes of this sampling, as well as the resulting recommendations, will be communicated to all stakeholders in the food chain, including farmers, supermarkets, health authorities and consumers.
The ERDF-funded project hopes that this will improve the quality control of livestock production in these regions and, ultimately, contribute to better public health standards thanks to lower levels of contamination in the future.
Photo: © iStock/Jovanmandic
B-solutions: the open call for pilot actions launched in Bratislava!
The ambitious 10 points Action Plan set out in the Communication “Boosting Growth and Cohesion in EU Border Regions” is moving one important step forward.
The Association of European Border Regions (AEBR), under the supervision of DG REGIO (mainly through the colleagues working in the Border Focal Point), have prepared and launched the call for proposal to finance up to 20 pilot actions aiming at solving specific border obstacles of administrative and/or legal nature.
The text of the call for proposal has been presented for the first time in Bratislava on 1 February 2018, on the occasion of the third workshop organised as follow up events to the adoption of the above mentioned Communication.
The call will be managed by AEBR and will stay open until 30 April 2018. There are 400.000 EUR available to finance with a sub-grant of 20.000 small pilot projects aiming at solving border obstacles under one of these five themes: Employment, Health, (public) transport of passengers, Multi-lingualism, Institutional Cooperation. Public authorities operating in border regions are eligible to apply and the selection of proposals will happen between May and June 2018. There is a specific webpage created by AEBR for this call, where the text of the call of proposals, guidelines and all relevant information will be published: https://www.b-solutionsproject.com/
For specific questions, a functional mailbox is already available to all interested parties: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, information about the call could be found also on the recently launched platform for border stakeholders, Boosting EU border regions… one additional reason to visit it often!
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.
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:
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, 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 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.