The European Commission has today adopted the new interregional cooperation programme ("Interreg") "Two Seas" between France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom worth almost EUR 257 million from the EU Regional funds. A key focus will be on cross-border initiatives to strengthen research and innovation, supporting a shift towards a low-carbon economy, improving the area's capacity to deal with climate change and promoting a resource efficient economy. The total volume of the programme with national funding included is more than EUR 392 million.

European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corinne Crețu said:" I am delighted to adopt this programme today. The programme adopted today will allow the regions along the Southern North Sea and the Channel to work together to address common challenges and tap into shared potential together. Our focus on innovation, climate change and on promoting a low carbon and resource efficient economy will strengthen the area's capacity to create sustainable growth and jobs. We expect nearly 28 million people in these regions to benefit from the projects springing from today's decision."

Background

The programme "Interreg V-A France-Belgium-The Netherlands-United Kingdom (Les Deux Mers/Two seas/Twee Zeeën)" area comprises the French departments of Aisne, Somme, Nord and Pas-de Calais, the Belgium provinces of Antwerp, East and West Flanders, The Dutch Corop regions of  Kop van Noord-Holland, Alkmaar en omgeving; IJmond, Agglomeratie Haarlem, Agglomeratie's-Gravenhage, Delft en Westland, Agglomeratie Leiden en Bollenstreek, Groot-Rijnmond, Zuidoost-Zuid-Holland, Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen, Overig Zeeland, West-Noord-Brabant and the English regions of East Anglia, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Devon, Cornwall, Isles of Scilly, Dorset and Somerset.

Interreg V-A France – Belgium - The Netherlands - United Kingdom (Les Deux Mers/Two seas/Twee Zeeën) is managed by the region of Nord-Pas de Calais located in Lille.

The four priorities of the programme and the main results expected are:

  1. Technological and social innovation (EU-funding: EUR 107.8 million). Among the results: The average level of performance of the programme area with regards to the development of social innovation applications will increase by 10%. The delivery of innovation in smart specialisation sectors will increase by 5%.
  2. Low carbon technologies (EU-funding: EUR 51.3 million). Among the results:  The average level of performance of the programme area with regards to the adoption of low-carbon technologies will increase by 10%.
  3. Adaptation to climate change (EU-funding: EUR 38.5 million). Among the results: The average level of performance of the programme area with regards to its adaptation capacity to climate change and its water-related effects will increase by 5%.
  4. Resource efficient economy (EU-funding: EUR 43.6 million). Among the results: The average level of performance of the programme area with regards to the adoption of new solutions for a more efficient use of natural resources and in respect of the adoption of new circular economy solutions will increase by 10%.

An additional EUR 15.4 million will be provided for technical assistance. The EU funding of almost EUR 257 million will be complemented by more than EUR 135 million funding from national sources. The total volume of the programme is more than EUR 392 million.

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