Operational Programme 'Sweden - Norway'

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


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On 15 November 2007, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between Sweden and Norway for the period 2007-2013. This is one of four cross-border programmes with Norwegian participation.

The Programme involves Community support for Swedish regions of Jämtlands län, Värmlands län, Dalarnas län and parts of Västra Götalands län and the Norwegian regions of Nord-Trøndelags fylke, Sør-Trøndelags fylke, Hedmarks fylke, Østfold fylke and Akershus fylke. The areas of Västernorrlands län, Gävleborgs län and Örebro län in Sweden, and Oppland fylke and Oslo kommun in Norway may take part in projects as an adjacent area, i.e. receiving a maximum 20% of the ERDF funding allocated to the Programme. The Programme area is divided into three sub-areas called, starting from the north, "Nordens Gröna Bälte", “Inre Skandinavien" and "Gränslöst samarbete".

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €68 million. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €37 million, which represents approximately 0.4% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The overall objective of the Programme is to strengthen the attractiveness and competitiveness of the region through cross-border cooperation for the benefit of the local people and communities.

The Programme area is characterised by imbalances in infrastructure quality and population patterns and by a predominately negative population growth. Large parts of the area have a lower level of education than the national average and the entrepreneurial spirit needs to be developed. The Programme therefore addresses these and other issues and also endeavours to promote better coordination of public resources.

Two Programme strategies address the needs and common challenges identified:

  • cross-border cooperation will contribute to strengthening innovative capacity and developing skills and competitiveness within industry and the community. There will also be increased interaction between industry and different educational and research establishments;
  • cross-border development in communication and the natural and cultural environments will enhance methods for rural and urban development and increase institutional and cultural cooperation, a sense of community spirit and social well-being in the region.

2. Expected impact of investments

The Programme is the third in a series of cross-border cooperation programmes between Sweden and Norway. Between 1996 and 1999 there were three separate Programmes, which for the 2000-2006 period were merged into one Programme with three sub-Programmes. The links created in previous programming periods are expected to be further developed, while cross-border cooperation should also be taken to a new level. A series of indicators applicable to each of the Programme priorities is  used for evaluating specific Programme outputs and results.

3. Priorities

The Programme is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Economic Growth [approximately 55.7% of total funding]

The objectives of this priority are to strengthen the economy and the sustainable competitiveness of the border region by developing knowledge, establishing suitable conditions for trade and industry and integrating the economy. The priority is also expected to result in increased accessibility to and within the region, an integrated labour market with a competitive labour force, and an increased number of competitive enterprises with attractive working environments.

Priority 2: Attractive Living Environment [approximately 37.8% of total funding]

The main objectives under this priority are to make use of the distinctive characteristics of the region and to create a region which is attractive to live in, set up business in and visit, all the while taking into account the well-being of the population. The priority is also expected to result in the following:

  • improved usage, management and development of natural and cultural resources;
  • improved cooperation to minimise negative impacts on the environment;
  • increased quality of life;
  • improved public services;
  • developed methods and collaboration for local and urban development;
  • enhanced collaboration for improving public health, preventing risks and increasing safety.

Priority 3: Technical Assistance [approximately 6.5% of total funding]

The overall objective of this priority is to support the management, evaluation and monitoring of the Programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Sweden - Norway'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Economic Growth 20 845 275 17 055 222 37 900 497
Attractive Living Environment 14 145 008 11 573 185 25 718 193
Technical Assistance 2 233 422 2 233 420 4 466 842
Total 37 223 705 30 861 827 68 085 532