European Territorial Cooperation (ETC), better known as Interreg, is one of the two goals of cohesion policy and provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different Member States. The overarching objective of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) is to promote a harmonious economic, social and territorial development of the Union as a whole.
The programme is delivered through two priorities.
Priority 1: Co-operation for a more prosperous cross-border region:
It will do this by helping to diversify and develop the economy
- By encouraging innovation and competitiveness in enterprise and business development and
- By promoting tourism;
Priority 2: Co-operation for a sustainable cross-border region:
It will do this by supporting activities that
- Promote cross-border co-operation in policy development and
- Improve access to services to promote the quality of life for those living in the eligible area.
INTERREG co-operation includes:
Cross Border (INTERREG IVA) programmes aim to bring adjacent cross-border regions closer together through the development of joint projects. Under these programmes, projects can be financed in a wide variety of themes e.g. culture, tourism, economic development and transport.
Transnational programmes (INTERREG IVB) aim to promote a higher degree of territorial integration, with a view to achieving sustainable, harmonious and balanced development across the EU and better territorial integration with candidate and other neighbouring countries. Key areas of focus include: Innovation, Environment, Accessibility and Sustainable Urban Environment. There are 13 programme zones, three of which are relevant to Northern Ireland.
Interregional Co-operation (INTERREG IVC) focuses on the identification, analysis and dissemination of good practices by public authorities in order to improve the effectiveness of regional and local policies. Co-operation projects are eligible across all 27 EU states, plus Norway and Switzerland.
Interreg IVb is divided into thirteen different Operational Programmes (OPs). Each OP is led by a Secretariat and covers a specific part of the EU territory. All Member States can participate in Interreg IVB, but only if an organisation or authority is located in the eligible area of one of the programmes (Annex 1). IVB has a total budget of 1,82 billion euro for the programme period 2007–2013.
List of the Interreg IVb programmes:
- Alpine Space
- Atlantic Area
- Baltic Sea Region
- Central Europe
- Madeira - Açores - Canarias
- North Sea Region
- North West Region
- Northern Periphery
- Programme MED
- South East Europe
- South West Europe