Cooperation between regions and countries
European Territorial Cooperation (INTERREG)
European Territorial Cooperation is central to the construction of a common European space, and a cornerstone of European integration. It has clear European added value: helping to ensure that borders are not barriers, bringing Europeans closer together, helping to solve common problems, facilitating the sharing of ideas and assets, and encouraging strategic work towards common goals.
A 'Macroregional strategy' is an integrated framework endorsed by the European Council, which may be supported by the European Structural and Investment Funds among others, to address common challenges faced by a defined geographical area relating to Member States and third countries located in the same geographical area which thereby benefit from strengthened cooperation contributing to achievement of economic, social and territorial cohesion.
Four EU macro-regional strategies, covering several policies, have been adopted so far:
- The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (2009)
- The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (2010)
- The EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (2014)
- The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (2015)
All adopted macro-regional strategies are also accompanied by a rolling action plan to be regularly updated in light of new, emerging needs and changing contexts. The four macro-regional strategies concern 19 EU member-states and 8 non EU countries.
Border Focal Point
Besides financial support in the form of Interreg programmes and projects, the European Commission also works with border regions to help them unlock their full potential via a number of policy initiatives that are grouped under the “Border Focal Point”. This includes comprehensive studies, communication activities, border obstacles identification and resolution and the promotion of tools such as the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation.
The European Union shares experience with non-EU countries about the process of regional development.