Interregional cooperation, known as Interreg C, works at pan-European level, covering all EU Member States and partner states. It builds networks to develop good practice and facilitate the exchange and transfer of experience by successful regions. It is a tool to strengthen cohesion and overcome present and future challenges.
INTERREG VI C 2021-2027 covers 4 interregional cooperation programmes Interreg EUROPE, INTERACT, URBACT and ESPON sharing the objective to increase the capacity of policy-makers to develop and implement better regional policies.
With a total total budget of more than EUR 470 Million (379 Million EU funding), the representatives of the EU-27 Member States and the two participating countries Norway and Switzerland will continue to cooperatetogether under the Interreg policy objective “a better cooperation governance”, more specifically to “enhance the institutional capacity of public authorities, in particular those mandated to manage a specific territory, and of stakeholders”.
Interreg Europe will continue to help regional authorities at all levels to improve their regional development policies (capacity building), including their Structural Funds programmes.
The regions will have the possibility to exchange their experiences on a wider range of regional development issues than in 2014-2020 as the programme includes the five policy objectives. Concentration of the funds will be however on policy areas that are most relevant and urgent for regions in Europe: “A smarter Europe, A greener Europe and a more social Europe, including support to labour markets, health care and culture and sustainable tourism”.
On the one hand, the programme will support interregional cooperation projects between regional policy actors to find solutions to their regional challenges through capacity building, transfer of experience and good practices, .innovative approaches with the specific aim of preparing the integration of the lessons learnt from cooperation into regional policies and actions.
On the other hand, the programme will continue to facilitate policy learning services and capitalisation of good regional policy practices on an ongoing basis – in line with the policy learning platform approach – to enable regional level actors from across the EU to tap into relevant experiences and practices whenever they need them to strengthen their policies. These two actions are applicable to all the specific objectives supported by the programme.
Interact, covering the 27 Member States and participating countries as Norway and Switzerland, aims to ‘reinforce the effectiveness of cohesion policy by promoting exchange of experiences, innovative approaches and capacity building’ in a view:
- to harmonise and simplify the implementation of the Interreg Programmes and capitalisation of their results;
– to harmonise and simplify the possible cooperation actions
- to support the setting-up, functioning and use of European groupings of territorial cooperation (European Groupment for Territorial Cooperation).
The programme acts as one-stop-shop for the almost 100 Interreg programmes
Interact’s focus is on improving the process of cooperation in Interreg and beyond, limiting the diversity of solutions through harmonisation and eventually simplifying it.
Interact will continue to focus on strengthening the management capacity of Interreg programmes and other cooperation actors, like the Investment for Jobs and Growth programmes, and the EU Macro-regional Strategies.
With a total budget of more than EUR 56 Million (45 Million EU funding), the objective of Interact 2021-2027 will be pursued through:
a) increasing efficiency: Strengthening the management capacity of Interreg programmes and other cooperation actors
b) enabling individuals: Strengthening the capacity to work in cooperation programmes and context;
c) boosting Interreg visibility: Strengthening the capacity to capture and communicate programme results and to increase visibility.
Find out more on Interact website
The mission of ESPON is to deliver evidence, data and advice. Given the main territorial challenges at stake and the EU policy framework, ESPON intends to support policy makers at all levels by providing territorial evidence and knowledge to inform policy responses to strengthen EU territories’ resilience and recovery of from crises by achieving a green transition to climate-neutral economies while ensuring just living conditions in all places.
With a total budget of EUR 60 Million , (EUR 48 Million EU funding) , the Programme will cover all 27 EU Member States in partnership with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
ESPON research and activities are highly relevant for cohesion policy programming and implementation, and as part of the interregional programmes family it particularly contributes to cohesion policy effectiveness. In addition, key areas supported through research and evidence include the European Green Deal, Just Transition and Recovery, the Territorial Agenda 2030 (TA2030) process and implementation.
ESPON supports these processes through policy briefs, territorial evidence reports, territorial monitoring tools and other dedicated studies and outreach events, both arranged on demand of respective ESPON member countries, European cooperation partners, and the relevant intergovernmental networks. ESPON also supports macro-regional strategies, sea-basin strategies, as done in the past, with data and monitoring tools and responding to ad-hoc support requests.
The research activities that the ESPON will carry out in the 2021 – 2030 period will be aligned within integrated Thematic Action Plans, which are closely linked to the overall strategic goals of the EU Cohesion Policy 2021-2027 objectives and to the Territorial Agenda 2030 priorities:
The Urbact IV programme focuses on supporting cities in implementing solutions to tackle the green, just and digital transitions in particular, through collaboration, capacity building and expertise. The purpose is to promote integrated sustainable development in cities, improve city’s policies and improve the effectiveness of Cohesion policy in cities.
Its supports the delivery of key principles of sustainable urban development on the ground, such as good governance, integrated and place-based approaches, all making the link to the urban and territorial dimension of Cohesion policy and to its minimum requirements as per the 2021-2027 regulatory provisions.
The Programme will cover the EU 27 Member States, Norway, Switzerland as well as some countries benefitting from the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) such as Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Republic of North Macedonia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The URBACT programme covers the entire territory of the participating countries and is open to cities of all sizes. It will pay particular attention to cities benefitting from Cohesion policy in order to support them by increasing cooperation with other cities to find solutions, by supporting them with dedicated tools and expertise to improve their capacity to develop and implement integrated strategies and plans, to transfer innovative solutions and practices, to share and build knowledge and to find funding for planned investments and projects.
With a total budget of EUR 102 Million (EUR 84 EU funding), the programme will focus on:
- complementary and coordination to be established with the European Urban Initiative,
Expected impacts of the programme include increased capacities of cities to design and implement sustainable urban development strategies through and integrated and participative approach, as well as increased knowledge and possibilities to benefit from a coherent support in order to improve cities’ access to sources of funding, in particular from Cohesion policy.
More information on the programme website
INTERREG V C 2014-2020 covers 4 interregional cooperation programmes Interreg EUROPE, INTERACT, URBACT and ESPON.
ERDF contribution: €500 million
INTERREG EUROPE cooperation programme is a policy learning programme for European public authorities promoting the exchange of experience and the transfer of good practices between actors at all levels in Europe. By encouraging the share of knowledge the effectiveness of cohesion policy should be reinforced.
Countries: EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland
ERDF contribution: EUR 359 million
INTERACT III is the European programme created especially for assisting European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) programmes. Interact helps programme's managing authorities, audit authorities and administrators of cooperation programmes, first level controllers to understand EU rules defined for 2014-2020 in order to improve the managements of these programmes. The Interact team offers training, tools and encourages networking within the territorial cooperation community and beyond. Reducing administrative burden for both programme bodies and beneficiaries Interact provides advisory services on Interreg practices. For the period 2014-2020 the selected overarching objective of Interact III is to enhance institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders and efficient public administration.
Countries: EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland
ERDF contribution: EUR 39 million
ESPON 2020 cooperation programme produces a pan-European research by providing scientific in-formation to public authorities and actors at all levels through territorial research and analysis. ESPON's 2020 overarching objective is to support the development of regions in line with the EU Cohesion Policy as well as national development policies making sure the cities and regions across Europe are well informed.
Countries: EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
ERDF contribution: EUR 41 million
URBACT III 2014-2020 provides a framework of network between local authorities facing similar urban challenges. In order to find common solutions for a sustainable and integrated urban development in Europe, URBACT III supports cities by exchanging information, creating specific tools and methods for capacity and knowledge building and identifying and transferring good practices.
Countries: EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland
ERDF contribution: EUR 96.3 million
The INTERREG IV C 2007-2013 programme enables EU regions to work together and is structured around two priorities, which address: innovation and the knowledge economy, and environment and risk prevention.
ERDF contribution: €321 million.
Countries: EU, Norway and Switzerland.
3 networking programmes:
Jointly with the URBACT II programme, the INTERREG IVC programme is the main vehicle for the EU initiative ‘ Regions for Economic Change ’ which is designed to support regional and urban networks in developing and spreading best practice in economic modernisation. The most innovative projects can compete for the annual RegioStars award.