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An action plan is a document providing details on how the lessons learnt from the cooperation will be implemented in order to improve the policy instrument tackled within a given region. The document specifies the nature of the actions to be implemented, their timeframe, the players involved, the costs (if any) and funding sources (if any). An action plan template is in an annex to the programme manual.
Action plans are prepared during phase 1 of the project, based on the experiences shared among partners. They are then implemented mainly during phase 2.
No, an action plan is not a policy instrument.
Drafting of the action plan is a requirement from the programme, so it is a compulsory output of the project. If the implementation of all or some of the actions foreseen in the document does not take place, the reasons for the failure will have to be explained by the relevant partner during phase 2 of the project.
The partners should develop one action plan for each policy instrument addressed. This means that if two partners address the same policy instrument, they will produce jointly one action plan. But the action plans can also include actions which are jointly developed with other regions (when relevant). This means that some actions would be designed and implemented to improve several policy instruments.
Pilot actions are not possible in phase 1 of a project. They can however be planned in the action plans and implemented during phase 2. They may be financed by Interreg Europe in phase 2 with limited budget and in compliance with the state aid rules, given that certain criteria are met: interregionality, additionality and policy relevance.
The rationale behind Interreg Europe is that the implementation of the actions resulting from the learning (including experimentations) are financed within the relevant local, regional or national policies. The support for pilot actions should not be the motivation for regions to come to Interreg Europe.