As discussions about the future of Interreg programmes are in full swing, we reflect on our unique position to shape the policies of European regions.

The numbers alone prove our added value. The investments triggered by just 40 of our projects (15% of all approved projects) are almost equal to our entire programme budget!

And this is just part of our success story. See what our project partners had to say:

So how do we shape the policies of European regions?

By building on our achievements

As Andrea Vignoli from Lazio Region Association of Cities and Municipalities, Italy, said ‘You cannot every time start again from zero.’ And Interreg Europe has a long history of achievements. 

  • We are popular throughout Europe and have successfully reached out to our target groups;

After four calls, we are funding 258 projects running with over 2000 partners in almost 90% of all EU regions. More than 30% of the applications we received were approved. The demand from potential partners has been so high that by March 2019, we had already committed all our budget.

And there are many more potential projects in the pipeline that are waiting for the next funding period.

  • With very little money, we’ve made a big impact;

Our projects who started in 2016 and 2017 are already confirming a high return on investment. Thanks to interregional cooperation, regions participating in our projects have financed new initiatives and improved their regional development policies. So far, the financial impact of these results is estimated at MEUR 335. And that’s with an investment of only MEUR 67.

That means that with every Euro we invest, four more are triggered!

By bringing public authorities from all across Europe closer together

Unlike other Interreg programmes, we cover all EU member states as well as Norway and Switzerland. As Małgorzata Steckiewicz from the Institute for European Projects Ltd., Poland, points out ‘Interreg Europe is the only EU programme that helps regional authorities across the whole of Europe to cooperate on such a wide range of topics.’ This is especially true for the Investment for Growth and Jobs programme!

Cooperation is important because it brings innovation, knowledge, cohesion and unity to Europe. It allows the EU to stand united and tackle global challenges jointly.

We require our projects to form partnerships between more and less developed regions. That way, we make sure to fulfil one of the main objectives of EU funds: promoting cohesion!

See how successful cooperation creates change in the region:

  • Take, for example, the LAST MILE project where the Slovakian partner was inspired by Sweden to develop a seasonal bus route to touristic areas;
  • While cooperation and exchange of experience during the CISMOB project led to a willingness to put funds forward for a pilot action.

You can find out more about how we bring people together in this 6 minute video.

By providing access to good practices to everyone

Interregional cooperation has proven to be an efficient tool for identifying good practices. But how useful are the practices if only the project partners know about them?

We make use of the knowledge gained from our projects and share it throughout Europe in a fast and simple way. The Policy Learning Platform, the second action of the Interreg Europe programme, has built a good practice database which makes this knowledge accessible to everyone. And anyone with an inspiring solution to improve regional policies in Europe can submit a good practice too.

We also have a policy helpdesk you can contact; we provide tailor-made peer reviews; and a hub where we gather our accrued knowledge for any region to access quickly and easily.

By supporting our projects and our partners

Through our projects, we support over 2000 partners from almost 90% of Europe’s regions.

We guide them through their learning process and exchanges of experiences. Our team helps to make the learning and exchange process as efficient as possible.

We are known for having spear-headed various measures to make project management and financial reporting simpler

Interreg Europe is a unique programme that works well. We have a proven track record on performance and good governance. Our audits confirm that money is spent in a reliable way: in 2018 our error rate was almost zero and we had no decommitment.

And this is just the beginning. We expect many more results in the coming years.

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