The majority of the UK has voted to leave the EU. What does this mean for UK partners in interregional cooperation projects?
Interreg Europe helps regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policy. By creating an environment and opportunities for sharing solutions, we aim to ensure that government investment, innovation and implementation efforts all lead to integrated and sustainable impact for people and place.
We know that better performance leads to better results. By building on its forerunner, INTERREG IVC (2007-2013), Interreg Europe aims to get maximum return from the EUR 359 million financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for 2014-2020. This time round, it’s still about doing good, but doing it better!
Solutions exist that can help our regions become the best that they can be. Today, the EU’s emphasis is very much on paving the way for regions to realise their full potential – by helping them to capitalise on their innate strengths while tapping into opportunities that offer possibilities for economic, social and environmental progress.
To achieve this goal, Interreg Europe offers opportunities for regional and local public authorities across Europe to share ideas and experience on public policy in practice, therefore improving strategies for their citizens and communities.
Interreg Europe exists to assist three types of beneficiaries:
Organisations that work with Interreg Europe must also be based in one the 28 EU Member States, Switzerland or Norway.
Any actions developed with financial support from Interreg Europe must fall into one of the following four categories:
As there is pressure these days to ‘do more with less’, we’ve taken a streamlined approach this time round to create actions which are much more focused and therefore offer greater chance for success.
Cooperation, collaboration and community engagement are at the heart of Interreg Europe. These ‘3 C’s’ are incorporated into our two main support services with the aim to aid understanding and critical thinking by creating space for new ideas, different perspectives and collective learning.
Interreg Europe will co-finance up to 85% of project activities that you carry out in partnership with other policy organisations based in different countries in Europe.
Through interregional cooperation projects, you and your partners must identify a common interest and then work together for 3-5 years.
Initially, partners will share experience, ideas and know-how about how best to deal with the issue at hand. Each partner region must:
After this stage, each partner must monitor progress of the implementation of their action plan and report to the lead partner. Pilot actions may be supported during this period.
Depending on the number of partners involved, duration of interregional learning etc., the average total ERDF budget of a project is expected to be EUR 1-2 million. Interreg Europe will launch calls for proposals throughout the programming period so keep an eye out for the next call!
Our four Policy Learning Platforms are a new feature to Interreg Europe to open up the programme’s knowledge for the benefit of all the project partners and the whole community of regional policy stakeholders. They aim to facilitate continuous learning among organisations dealing with regional development policies in Europe in order to improve the way they design and implement their public policies in the areas we support – 1) research and innovation, 2) SME competitiveness, 3) low-carbon economy, 4) the environment and resource efficiency.
Expert services, such as peer reviews, benchmarking exercises, thematic workshops, capacity building events, learning activities will be available in 2016.
In the meanwhile, join the Interreg Europe online community and tell us which theme you’re interested in!
Many regions are reviewing their European activity in the context of budget pressures. Interreg Europe can help your city and/or region in the following ways:
Financial support – funding is available for interregional cooperation projects, which have the potential to lead to longer term collaborations and partnerships
Peer learning – gain insights and experience from a range of exchange and learning opportunities with your peers across Europe
Expert advice and skills – these can be solicited through policy platform personnel and your country representatives
Policy into practice – make a tangible difference by translating EU policy into on the ground action
Bottom-up policy development – by using the results and positive impact of your successful projects to serve as evidence for feeding into EU and national policies
Save time – rather than reinventing the wheel, find out what solutions to sustainable development challenges already exist in other parts of Europe. A problem shared, is a problem solved!
Organisational and professional development – bring collaborative learnings back home for the benefit of you, your organisation and those you serve
Expand your network – meet new like-minded partners, stakeholders and business friends across Europe
Build an international profile – among your project peers and with the EU institutions
Make people happy! Your citizens and communities are relying on you to make their city/region a place of economic, social and environmental progress and possibility. Interreg Europe can help make this happen.