Operational Programme 'Öresund - Kattegat - Skagerrak'

Programme under the Territorial Cooperation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 27 March 2008, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Programme for Sweden, Denmark and Norway for the period 2007-13. The programme builds on the work of the Interreg IIIA Öresund Operational Programme, which ran as a partnership between Denmark and Sweden in 2000-2006. A number of new coastal regions have been added to the new programme – these run along the entire Danish east coast, the Swedish west coast and the south coast of Norway. The Programme is sub-divided into two sub-programmes: one covers Öresund, the other Kattegat-Skagerrak.

The Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation objective and has a total budget of around €223 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development fund (ERDF) comes to about €112 million, which represents approximately 1.3% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13. In addition to the ERDF allocation and contributions from Denmark and Sweden, Norway provides its own funding to the Programme.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The programme’s vision is to create a region which is attractive and competitive, and characterised by knowledge-based cooperation and sustainable development. These values are to be found in the goals set down for each sub-programme. Öresund aims to become Europe’s most attractive and competitive region, while Kattegatt-Skagerrak sets itself the goal of being an innovative and functional border region that offers a high quality of life.

The programme’s broad objectives are to:

  • Increase sustainable economic growth and contribute to the EU’s regional development objectives;
  • Develop a physically and organisationally homogeneous region by stimulating cooperation and common use of resources; and
  • Increase integration by improving the mobility of people and businesses.

2. Expected impact of the investment

Thanks to the success of two previous regional programming periods, the Öresund region has some significant urban areas and a lot of experience in forging Cross-border Cooperation. The current programme builds on previous activities and is expected to further strengthen Cross-border Cooperation.

Kattegat-Skagerrak is a larger and more rural and maritime region. It includes coastal regions in the three participating countries that are newly eligible for funding. Work has developped from a more basic starting point than in the Öresund region. A series of indicators, applicable to the programme’s priorities, are used to evaluate the programme’s output and results.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme is structured according to the following priority axes:

Priority 1: Promote sustainable economic growth [approximately 44.7% of total funding, not including the Norwegian contribution]

The aim is to improve conditions for growth and sustainable competitiveness based on the region’s existing strengths. Programme-backed projects focus on stimulating growth promoting activities in the areas of trade, research and education, as well as in the wider economy.

For example, projects could be developed to:

  • produce common innovation strategies;
  • improve guidance services for small and medium-size enterprises;
  • encourage the joint development and marketing of regional events;
  • foster cooperation between clusters and research institutes; and
  • encourage cooperation on sustainable tourism.

Priority 2: Tying the region together [approximately 32.9% of total funding, not including the Norwegian contribution]

This priority focuses on creating a physically and organisationally homogeneous region, while making it easier to cooperate and share resources.

This may entail developing projects that could:

  • develop information systems, products and services for road users and other travellers;
  • develop a safer and more sustainable transport system;
  • encourage cooperation between the region’s health services; and
  • develop greater cooperation on maritime safety issues.

Priority 3: Promote everyday integration [approximately 16.4% of total funding, not including the Norwegian contribution]

The aim here is to eliminate barriers and devise ways to encourage and improve contacts across borders for people, businesses and organisations. Common training programmes could be established and labour market borders eliminated. Other projects could look at ways in which the partner countries could mutually recognise diplomas and degrees.

Cooperation between tourist organisations, schools and cultural institutions etc, are encouraged as a way of further cementing ties across traditional borders.

Priority 4: Technical assistance [approximately 6.0% of total funding, not including the Norwegian contribution]

Technical assistance is provided to support management, evaluation and monitoring activities.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Öresund - Kattegat - Skagerrak'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Promote sustainable economic growth 49 834 543 48 339 507 98 174 050
Tying the region together 36 720 189 35 618 583 72 338 772
Promote everyday integration 18 360 094 17 809 291 36 169 385
Technical assistance 6 696 691 6 696 691 13 393 382
Total 111 611 517 108 464 072 220 075 589