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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    The Seventh Cohesion Forum, which will take place on 26-27 June 2017 in Brussels, is a large scale political event held every three years, bringing together more than 700 people including high level representatives from European institutions, central governments, regional and local representatives, economic and social partners, NGOs and academics. Keynote speeches will be delivered by the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat. The event will include a number of additional keynote speeches, three panel debates and three parallel workshops on critical issues regarding the future of Europe and the future of the European Structural and Investment Funds

    The event will be a milestone in the preparations for the post-2020 framework for the European Structural and Investment Funds. Cohesion policy needs to reflect on the demanding challenge of making Europe's economy more inclusive, competitive and resilient and must address the questions raised by the White paper on the future of Europe about the added value of EU policies, subsidiarity, and gaps between promise and delivery.

    The Forum is a unique opportunity for decision-makers, stakeholders and practitioners to discuss how EU policies can improve the living conditions and opportunities for all European citizens against the background of globalisation, technological change and growing inequalities. It is a chance to formulate a cohesion policy response to the main economic and social challenges for the European Union and improve the delivery of results to the citizens.

    The Forum will precede the adoption of the 7th Cohesion Report, so that the conclusions from the debate with civil society representatives may feed into the report.

    Conference Agenda  


    Live Webstreaming

    DAY 1 : 26/06/2017:

    DAY 2 : 27/06/2017:

    Places : Charlemagne Building, Brussels
    Dates : 26-27/06/2017

    Participation upon invitation only

    Practical Information


    The event will be web streamed.

    Seventh Cohesion Forum

    Follow on Twitter @EU_Regional #EU7CF

    A project in the North Sea Region is bringing leading players in the offshore wind industry together to fuel innovation.

    The offshore wind industry (OWI) is an important driver of economic growth and development across Europe and particularly in the North Sea. The region has been described as having the potential to become the “Silicon Valley” of OWI because of the opportunities it offers for close collaboration and complementarity between industry leaders.

    However, the OWI is in need of further cost reductions, more innovation and improved acceptance of the industry. In response, the ERDF co-funded INN2POWER project is attempting to strengthen links between leading offshore wind clusters across Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK.

    The project aims to achieve better connections between stronger wind clusters by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter new markets and engage in innovative business collaborations.

    Crucial to tackling OWI challenges because they can be highly innovative, skilled and flexible, SMEs are often challenged by disadvantages relating to their size, high costs and understanding of the global market.

    Related links:

    Source article on Your Renewable News 07/06/17

    Your Renewable News website

    Photo: © iStock/ MR1805

    The latest issue of Panorama magazine is a special edition dedicated to discussion of Cohesion Policy post-2020. The Cohesion Forum, which takes place on 26-27 June in Brussels, will be an important milestone in this process. Cohesion policy needs to reflect on the demanding challenge of making Europe's economy more inclusive, competitive and resilient and must address the questions raised by the White paper on the future of Europe about the added value of EU policies, subsidiarity, and gaps between promise and delivery. Our magazine has given the floor to representatives of EU institutions, national governments, regional authorities, various associations and universities in an attempt to gauge people's feelings about the future of this key EU policy. 

    Smart Specialisation strategies are mentioned several times in this issue, and many people underline their importance and would like to see the concept developed further. We also feature key findings from the latest Eurobarometer survey of citizens' awareness and perception of regional policy, preview GDP data from the forthcoming 7th Cohesion Report, and look forward to the themes of this year's European Week of Regions and Cities. Finally we feature testimonies from young volunteers working as part of the European Solidarity Corps.

    Panorama 61: Cohesion Policy looks to the future

More news


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