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Policy instruments

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What is a policy instrument?

A policy instrument is a means of public intervention. It refers to any strategy, programme, or law developed by public authorities and implemented to improve a specific territorial situation. In most cases, financial resources are allocated to a policy instrument.

However, an instrument can also refer to a strategy or legislative framework with no specific funding (e.g., a Smart Specialisation Strategy) as long as this strategy or legislative framework comply with the above definition (i.e., ‘developed by public authorities and implemented to improve a specific territorial situation’). In principle, internal documents of organisations (e.g., mission statements, in-house strategic orientations) does not qualify as policy instruments.

In the context of Interreg Europe, operational programmes under the Investment for jobs and growth goal are ‘policy instruments’. Beyond the EU’s cohesion policy programmes, local, regional, or national public authorities implement their own policy instruments, which can also be addressed by Interreg Europe projects.

Watch the video to find out:

  • What is a policy instrument (2:50 - 4:05)
  • Examples of policy instruments and how to improve them (5:01 - 9:39)

Is there a minimum number of policy instruments that we need to address?

The number of policy instruments adressed by the project should correspond to the number of 'regions' involved.

Can a partner address more than one policy instrument?

Each participating region must focus on one main policy instrument even if regional development issues can often be addressed through several policy instruments.

Is it possible to address policy instruments that are still in approval phase?

This may not be an issue as long as a fair idea of the content of this future policy instrument is available.

Information on the content of the programme is indeed needed so that the partner can explain in the application form what kind of improvements are expected from this instrument and under which priorities.

Do all policy instruments need to be Investment for Jobs & Growth programme?

At least one policy instrument addressed in the application must be an Investment for jobs and growth goal programme.

To find out more about policy instruments, watch the video starting at 2:50.

How do I know who is the policy responsible authority for my policy instrument?

A policy responsible authority is the organisation in charge of elaborating and/or implementing a specific policy instrument. The concept ‘policy responsible authority’ is not related to the legal status of the organisation.

In most cases the policy responsible authority is a public body (i.e., local, regional, or national authority). For instance, the policy responsible authority for a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan is the city itself.

However, other organisations, such as bodies governed by public law, may also be considered policy responsible authorities, if they have an official role in the elaboration and/or implementation of the policy instrument addressed.

In the case of Investment for jobs and growth goal programmes, the policy responsible authorities are the relevant managing authorities or intermediate bodies.

In case of doubt, the relevant Partner State should be contacted since only the Partner State can confirm whether an organisation from its territory qualify as a policy responsible authority for the policy instruments addressed in its country.