On Thursday 17 June 2021, we organised an online event especially designed for EU outermost regions.

The event was part of the ‘Policy Learning Platform on the road’ initiative and brought together 82 participants from: French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion Island  (France), Azores and Madeira (Portugal), the Canary Islands (Spain) and some other regions and institutions.

It was an opportunity to learn about the Interreg Europe programme and how outermost regions can benefit from interregional cooperation already now and in the future. The event agenda is available here.

Event recording

You can watch the recording of the plenary session and access the presentations below.

00:00:00 Welcome and greeting participants, Raluca Toma - Policy Learning Platform communication manager

00:05:06 [Presentation] Interreg Europe: state of play and perspectives for the future, Erwin Siweris - Interreg Europe programme director

00:14:06 [Presentation followed by Q&A] Interreg Europe, present and future: benefits for outermost regions, Nicolas Singer - head of unit projects and platform

00:47:12 [Interview] The Policy Learning Platform: a source of inspiration for the Interreg Europe community; Magda Anagnostou - Policy Learning Platform coordinator and Elena Ferrario - Policy Learning Platform thematic manager

You can check the different services presented in this brochure.

Key discussion points

  • Interreg Europe is the only Interreg programme allowing all regions in Europe to cooperate with each other. The presence of outermost regions has increased compared to the past programming periods. Currently, 6 out of 9 outermost regions are already partners in 13 projects, and globally their 33% success rate (approved projects vs project applications) is higher than the overall programme average (30%);
  • Between 2014 and 2020, the organisations involved in Interreg Europe have mobilised more than 1 billion Euros thanks to the results achieved in projects. For the upcoming programming period, the motto is 'no revolution but evolution': the programme objective is still to improve regional and local development policies, with one cross cutting priority dedicated to capacity building. Therefore, the programme will cover all topics related to regional development policies, while keeping a focus on innovation and environment policies (80% of programme funding to smart and green priorities)
  • The Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform offers opportunities of cooperation with no need to apply for funding: knowledge hub, community activities, expert support services, so many options are available for community members to take the most out of Interreg Europe results
  • Participants had the opportunity to exchange on the main challenges outermost regions face in regional development. In innovation policies, they are concerned about smart specialisation strategies in islands, clusters and start up support schemes, digital transition to support companies and home working. For entrepreneurship and SME competitiveness, the main challenges are related to the high unemployment rates, and to the specificities of the small scale markets, together with the lack of knowledge to access support schemes by companies. In energy, mobility and environment policies, outermost regions often face similar challenges despite the different geographical contexts: from the transition to more sustainable transport modes, to the smooth uptake of the energy efficiency challenges for SMEs, or to sustainable waste management in islands.