On 29 May 2018, the Commission published the draft regulations for the 2021-2027 programming period. The draft specific provisions for European territorial cooperation (ETC) regulation proposes radical changes to interregional cooperation.

How the draft regulation treats interregional cooperation?

The draft ETC regulation proposes to tackle interregional cooperation through two components (see Article 3 of the draft ETC regulation):

Component 4 on interregional cooperation

It foresees the continuation of two programmes:

  • one to analyse the development trends in the relation to the aims of territorial cohesion. (ESPON)
  • one to support capacity building in relation to the implementation of Interreg programmes, the implementation of Investment for jobs and growth goal programmes (in particular with regard to cooperation projects) and to the development of EGTCs. (INTERACT)

Component 5 on interregional innovation investments

Component 5 is an investment programme focusing on the commercialisation and scaling up of interregional innovation projects for the development of European value chains.

Its characteristics are very specific for an ETC programmes: it is a pure investment programme focusing only on innovation related matters, directly managed by the Commission.

Interregional cooperation mainstreamed

In the draft ETC regulation, Interreg Europe is discontinued. Instead, the Commission proposes to integrate interregional cooperation into the Investment for jobs and growth goal programmes. Each programme shall set out ‘the interregional and transnational actions with beneficiaries located in at least one other Member State’. (see  Article 17 (3)(d)(v) of the draft Common Provisions regulation)

The future of interregional cooperation projects

If the draft ETC regulation is approved in the present form, pan-European bottom-up cooperation projects as currently supported by Interreg Europe will no longer exist.

The draft legislative proposal is now open to consultation. You can find some key steps in the process in this factsheet.

As a stakeholder of Interreg Europe, you are directly affected by this proposal and your opinion counts. Please feel free to express your opinion on the proposed regulation and interregional cooperation in the form below.

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