Interreg : European Territorial Co-operation
The European Union promotes cooperation between regions and countries to help their economic and social development and tackle the obstacle of borders.
This European Territorial Cooperation (Interreg) is organised under multiple strands:
- cross-border (Interreg A),
- trans-national (Interreg B),
- interregional (Interreg C),
- outermost regions’ cooperation (Interreg D)
In 1990, Interreg was developed as a Community Initiative in with a budget of just EUR 1 billion covering exclusively cross-border cooperation. Later, Interreg has been extended to transnational and interregional cooperation.
The 2021-2027 period granted of almost EUR 10 billion marks another evolution of Interreg with a reinforced cooperation with partner countries with Interreg IPA, Interreg NEXT and the integration of a dedicated strand for cooperation between the EU outermost regions and neighbouring countries.
Discover the interactive map of the Interreg programmes across the borders on the Interreg.eu portal
Interreg VI- 2021-2027 period
7 policy objectives to implement EU priorities across the borders
Almost EUR 10 billion are shared between almost 100 Interreg programmes across the borders, in and outside the EU, which will contribute to implement EU’s cohesion policy main priorities:
- A more competitive and smarter Europe (PO1);
- A greener, low-carbon transitioning towards a net zero carbon economy and resilient Europe (PO2);
- A more connected Europe (PO3);
- A more social and inclusive Europe (PO4);
- A Europe closer to citizens (PO5)
In 2021-2027 Interreg has 2 new specific objectives:
- Interreg Specific Objective (ISO) 1 : A better Cooperation governance ;
- To enhance the institutional capacity of public administrations,
- To resolve legal and administrative obstacles in border regions,
- To promote sustainable democracy,
- To strengthen mutual trust among citizens.
- Interreg Specific Objective (ISO) 2: A safer and more secure Europe
- For actions in the fields of border crossing management, mobility and migration management, including the protection and economic and social integration of third-country nationals.
- To support employment and labour market measures such as improving access to employment, encouraging life-long learning, promoting gender balance and fostering equal opportunities.
Embedding cooperation: more synergies between Interreg programmes, the other cooperation platforms and other EU funding programmes.
As cooperation is the essence of the European Union, the regulatory provisions establish a much stronger link between Interreg programmes and Macro Regional Strategies and Sea Basin Strategies.
This “embedding principle” means that any ERDF funded programmes should be able to support cooperation actions.
4 strands to make cooperation happening everywhere in Europe and beyond
1. Interreg Strand A : Cross Border Cooperation
With a budget of 6.5 billion EUR, cross-border programmes are implemented within the EU and at EU’s external borders.
- 49 programmes in the EU, making sure to turn some border obstacles into opportunities between EU Member States.
- 10 Interreg IPA programmes, which are operating at EU’s border with IPA countries. They are mainly contributing to the enlargement policy of the EU.
- 14 Interreg NEXT programmes, implemented at the borders with Neighbouring countries of the EU, including Russia.
2. Interreg Strand B: Transnational Cooperation
- 14 transnational cooperation programmes will continue to support cooperation activities at larger scale in Europe and beyond.
- 4 transnational programmes, namely Interreg Baltic Sea Region, Interreg Danube Region, Interreg IPA Adrion and Interreg Alpine Space programme will directly support the Macro Regional Strategies covering their geographical area. 80% of their thematic concentration should be align with a Macro Regional Strategy,
- Transnational programmes linked to Sea Basin Strategies, like Interreg Atlantic Area or Interreg NEXT Black Sea Basin also apply the thematic concentration
- Transnational programmes can benefit from additional funding from ERDF, IPA or NDICI.
3. Interreg Strand C: Interregional Cooperation
The interregional cooperation strand aims at boosting the effectiveness of cohesion policy by promoting exchange of experiences, innovative approaches and capacity building between regions (Art. 3(3) ETC Regulation (EU) 2021/1059).
For the period 2021-2027, four interregional cooperation programmes will continue:
Allocation for this strand amounts to more than EUR 550 million.
The strand C programmes cover all 27 EU member states. Norway and Switzerland will continue to be part of the programmes, as for 2014-2020, with their own funds.
Moreover, URBACT will cover 5 IPA beneficiary countries (Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania). ESPON will, next to Norway and Switzerland, include Lichtenstein and Iceland.
4. Interreg D : Outermost Regions Programmes
With the new regulation 2021-2027, the specificities of the Outermost regions are recognised trough a specific strand (Strand D)
It helps those regions to cooperate with neighbouring countries and territories in the most efficient and simple way.
Calls for proposals can be launched for combined funding under the ERDF, the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) established by Regulation (EU ) 2021/947 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Strand D concerns 4 geographical areas:
- Amazonia, Caribbean,
- Middle Atlantic/Gulf of Guinea (MAC),
- Indian Ocean,
- Mozambique Channel.
The financial amounts represent 3.5% of the INTERREG amount or over EUR 280 million.
Make Interreg better recognisable: a brand community
A new Interreg brand is easily recognisable for citizens and stakeholders alike. The branding also include Interreg IPA and NEXT programs.
The introduction of the unique Interreg branding also highlights the unique spatial cross-border transnational and interregional nature of the projects and programs. Therefore, the branding will apply to all communication material including plaques and websites. Sanctions are foreseen by the Regulation in case the branding is not adequately displayed.
- European territorial cooperation Regulation
- Budget allocations for 2021-2027 Interreg programmes
- List of areas covered by 2021-2027 Interreg programmes