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The thematic priorities selected by the programme mainly refer to the smart and sustainable growth pillars of the EU2020 strategy. Inclusive growth can be tackled indirectly through specific objective 2.1 dedicated to supporting SME development and entrepreneurship. Under this specific objective, projects could, for instance, address the issue of promoting entrepreneurship among specific target groups at risk of discrimination, for example unemployed youth, elderly people, disabled people, women, long-term unemployed and migrants. Social innovation can also be tackled, although applicants should read carefully the guidance in section 2.5.1 of the programme manual.
Social innovation can be tackled under the specific objectives 1.2 (dedicated to improving innovation delivery policies) and 2.1 (focusing on improving SME competitiveness policies). For further points of attention on tackling social innovation within Interreg Europe, please consult section 2.5.1 of the programme manual.
Information and communication technologies are considered as a cross-cutting theme relevant for all the objectives of the programme, for instance through innovation infrastructures (under specific objective 1.1) or through the support to the digital economy (specific objective 2.1 dedicated to improving SME competitiveness policies).
Regional policies dedicated to tourism as an economic sector can potentially be tackled under the specific objectives 1.2 (dedicated to improving innovation delivery policies) and 2.1 (focusing on improving SME competitiveness policies). Regional policies on cultural heritage can be potentially tackled under specific objective 4.1 for improving natural and cultural heritage policies.
However, these two topics have to be tackled with care as they have already been covered widely under different EU programmes and in particular INTERREG. Any application tackling one of these two topics would therefore need to clearly describe the added-value of the proposal compared to past or existing initiatives in that domain.
Interreg Europe is a thematic programme. In line with the concentration principle of the Structural Funds regulations, projects must have a clear focus on one of the four themes tackled by the programme.
However, as long as the thematic focus is clearly defined within one of the priority axes of the programme, topics with a cross-cutting character are welcome. For instance, a project addressing policies supporting innovation for companies involved in the 'energy from waste' sector would fit under specific objective 1.2 (dedicated to improving innovation delivery policies). It would also have a link to specific objectives 3.1 (focusing on improving low-carbon economy policies) and 4.2 (dedicated to improving resource-efficient economy policies).