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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    Join the workshop on 31st August from 11h15 to 12h45 in Brussels during the ECIT Summer University on European Citizenship.

    The workshop aims to show how Interreg/cross-border cooperation (CBC) contributes to boost EU citizenship by showcasing some project examples, including the Interreg Volunteer Youth initiative ( part of the EU Solidarity Corps.

    The registration for the 6th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is now launched. The event, taking place on 18-19 October 2017 in Budapest, is jointly organised by Hungary (current Presidency of the EUSDR), the European Commission (Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy) and the Danube Transnational Programme. 

    Under the title ‘A secure, connected and prospering Danube Region’, the Forum will emphasise the different challenges related to, and perspectives of, energy security, transportation development, clean connectivity issues and financing opportunities. The key question to answer will be how to best transform political commitments into operational policies and measures. 

    The deadline for registration is the 9th October 2017

    More information, including the programme and practical information, can be found here:

    EU Strategy for the Danube Region  

    Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany are using ERDF funds for a three-day forest fire training exercise to create a cross-border disaster prevention plan

    From Friday, June 30, to Sunday, July 2, 600 first responders and military personnel from the three countries will simulate a variety of scenarios involving a cross-border blaze. This exercise will result in a joint operational plan for efficient and effective handling of forest fires.

    The drill will cover an area of 100 hectares and will begin with a small, simulated fire in Germany that will soon spread to Austria and be declared a crisis needing emergency response.

    At the height of the exercise, over 600 firefighters, Red Cross workers, mountain rescue teams, police and other authorities will be on site to fight the flames. They will be accompanied by seven Austrian military aircraft.

    Details of the development of the emergency will be kept from those in charge of the response until the exercise unfolds. Organisers hope this – including any mistakes that may be made during the drill – will lead to the creation of an effective joint deployment plan devised under as real conditions as possible.

    The drill is receiving financial support from the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg programme Austria-Germany/Bavaria.

    Related links:

    Source article on 20/06/17 website

    Author: N/A

    Photo: © iStock/Toa55

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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).

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