To reinforce the effectiveness of cohesion policy, the INTERREG EUROPE programme promotes exchange of experience on thematic objectives among partners throughout the Union on the identification and dissemination of good practice with a view to its transfer principally to operational programmes under the Investment for Growth and Jobs goal but also, where relevant, to programmes under European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) goal1 . This will be done via the support and facilitation of policy learning, sharing of knowledge and transfer of good practices between regional and local authorities and other actors of regional relevance. The programme covers the whole territory of the European Union (EU) and Norway and Switzerland. The programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with a budget of €359 million for the 2014-2020 period.
INTERREG EUROPE is one of the instruments for the implementation of the EU’s cohesion policy. With this policy, the EU pursues harmonious development across the Union by strengthening its economic, social and territorial cohesion to stimulate growth in the EU regions and Member States. The policy aims to reduce existing disparities between EU regions in terms of their economic and social development and environmental sustainability, taking into account their specific territorial features and opportunities.
For the 2014-2020 funding period, cohesion policy concentrates on supporting the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy. Europe 2020 is the strategy to turn the EU into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. Europe 2020 is an agenda for the whole Union, taking into account Member States’ different starting points, needs and specificities to promote growth for the whole EU. Europe 2020 has three mutually reinforcing priorities:
- Smart growth: developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation.
- Sustainable growth: promoting a more resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy.
- Inclusive growth: fostering a high-employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion.
The Territorial Agenda 2020 underpins the territorial dimension of the Europe 2020 strategy. In this context INTERREG EUROPE can contribute by enabling regions to develop place-based responses to the Europe 2020 challenges of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The regulatory framework for INTERREG EUROPE is provided by the regulations for cohesion policy 2014-2020. These are accompanied by a Common Strategic Framework (CSF) setting out key actions to address EU priorities and giving guidance to ensure coordination between funds.
The potential thematic scope of INTERREG EUROPE is provided by 11 thematic objectives described in the Common Provisions Regulation. The European Territorial Cooperation regulation and the Common Strategic Framework outline that the programme should aim to reinforce the effectiveness of cohesion policy by encouraging exchange of experience between regions on thematic objectives. In particular the programme should contribute to the transfer of good practices principally into operational programmes under the Investment for Growth and Jobs goal of Cohesion policy, but also, where relevant, to programmes under the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) goal. The programme should also integrate and build on results generated through previous EU initiatives in relation to innovation and cluster support, for instance the "Regions of Knowledge" initiative. Next to this framework of EU Cohesion policy, INTERREG EUROPE can also contribute to the aims of several other sectoral and thematic policies and programmes, such as the EU Roadmaps for Low Carbon and Resource Efficiency and the Horizon2020 and COSME programmes
Any of the following organisations based in the 28 EU Member States, as well as Norway and Switzerland are eligible for Interreg Europe funding:
- National, regional or local public authorities
- Institutions governed by public law (e.g. regional development agencies, business support organisations, universities)
- Private non-profit bodies.
Further information can be found in the programme manual (http://www.interregeurope.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Call_related_documents/Interreg_Europe_Programme_manual.pdf)