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Our story: a journey with Interreg

By Joint secretariat

Interreg is 30 years old. To celebrate this big milestone, we take stock of our past contributions to the initiative and look forward to making cooperation better in the future.

How time flies?

It was the team at Bruegel analysing the data in keep.eu that said: ‘where and when regions cooperate, they grow faster'.

The story of interregional cooperation begins in the 1990s with pilot schemes like the Exchange of Experience and PACTE programmes.  Ten years on, four interregional cooperation programmes become part of the C strand of European territorial cooperation, known as Interreg, sitting alongside cross-border (A strand) and transnational (B strand) programmes.

The four interregional cooperation programmes, called Interreg IIIC (2000-2006), were each responsible for a geographical zone in Europe (north, south, east and west). They gave public authorities the opportunity to improve the effectiveness of their regional development and cohesion policies.

The four programmes merged into Interreg IVC, now Interreg Europe. And since 2007, public authorities from the EU, Norway, Switzerland and the UK have been exchanging experience, sharing good practices and building their staff capacity within one interregional programme based in Lille, France.

Over the years, we’ve made quite a contribution to cohesion and the European Union’s larger goals.

Find out more about the major milestones of our current programme.

Our impact in the regions


Poster with results over the past 10 years

The impact of interregional cooperation can be difficult to measure. Policy changes take time. And seeing their effects on citizens can take even longer. But in 2018, we looked into the long-term effects of interregional cooperation with our Interreg IVC projects (2007-2013).

4 out of 5 told us that a policy change took place in their region thanks to their interregional cooperation project. Often, the projects led to a new activity or initiative, which had a long-term effect in their region.

Our current Interreg Europe projects (2014-2020) are already showing results. So far, they have


  • Reported 412 policy changes; 64% of them in Structural Funds programmes, and
  • Mobilised 649 MEUR to deliver improved policies and programmes.

That means that every EUR invested into interregional cooperation leads to 2 EUR of investment in new and innovative policy solutions. Now that’s a good return on investment!

Discover more results

Looking to the future

With results like these, it’s no wonder we’re pushing ahead with the next programme (2021-2027). Our programming committee is working tirelessly to bring you the future of interregional cooperation.

Follow their progress

Let’s celebrate 30 years of Interreg together

Interreg IVC
Joint secretariat