Interreg Europe supports interregional cooperation projects. The supported projects involve policy organisations from at least three different countries in Europe and come together for three to five years to learn from each other and address a regional policy issue of common concern.
The lessons learned from this cooperation lead to the development and implementation of action plans aimed at making harmonised long-term economic, social and environmental improvements for the people and place they serve.
Interreg Europe co-finances up to 85% of project activities. Depending on the number of partners involved, duration of interregional learning and so on, the average total budget of a project is expected to be EUR 1-2 million. To be eligible for Interreg Europe financial support, at least half of the project partners must work on Structural Funds.
Interreg Europe projects have four main features which should be kept to the forefront when developing a project:
They are carried out in two phases.
They are designed to improve the performance of a regional policy instrument.
They use interregional learning and exchange of experience to catalyse policy change.
They result in an action plan whose implementation is monitored for two years.
The programme manual is the key document for project developers to understand the rationale behind interregional cooperation projects. If you haven't downloaded it yet, click this way!
More on the project phases
An interregional cooperation project is designed in two phases:
Phase 1 – Interregional learning
This phase can last one-three years and is dedicated to:
Exchange of experience: typical activities supported are seminars, workshops, site visits, staff exchanges, peer reviews, stakeholder meetings etc. The learning process is based on the identification, analysis and exchange of knowledge and practices in the field of policy tackled by the project.
Production of an action plan: produced by each partner region, the 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 that is addressed within their region. It specifies the nature of the actions to be implemented, their timeframe, the players involved, the costs (if any) and funding sources (if any). If the same policy instrument is addressed by several partners, only one action plan is required.
Communication and dissemination: each project must develop a communication strategy covering both internal and external activity, e.g. website development, conference organisation, policy briefings, print materials
Management and coordination: related to the administrative, legal and financial activities necessary for running an Interreg Europe project.
Phase 2 – Monitoring the implementation of each action plan
To better assess the results of interregional cooperation, this phase is dedicated to monitoring the implementation of the action plans. Although learning will continue among the group and the partnership will remain active, this phase is more local/regional in operation as on-the-ground work begins.
This phase lasts two years, during which time projects are required to organise the following activities:
Monitoring the implementation of the action plan: by maintaining contact with stakeholders and organising one project meeting at the end of each year
Communication and dissemination: updating the website and organising a final event
Management and coordination: preparing progress reports, managing expenses, project closure
When relevant, pilot actions may also be tested and supported during this phase. The budget for pilot actions is usually between EUR 10,000 and EUR 80,000.
How can we help?
We offer additional guidance and assistance that can help you make the most of the opportunities offered by Interreg Europe.
Find partners: If your project idea needs partners, post your idea on the Interreg Europe community. Please note that the ideas presented in these platforms are NOTchecked by the Interreg Europe secretariat.
Get feedback: If you wonder about the relevance of your project idea for Interreg Europe, make use of the self-assessment tool. With a green light from this exercise and with your project idea published on our website, ask for more detailed feedback from the secretariat. This service might not always be available.
Information and support on your doorstep: Representatives of Interreg Europe are based in all 28 EU Member States, Switzerland and Norway and are at hand to help you. You can contact them directly and check out country-specific information and events that are planned in your home country. Our country representatives can also advise whether you are eligible for Interreg Europe funding.
Refer to our FAQs:Our FAQ section provides answers to the most common questions about Interreg Europe.
Drop us a line: If you didn’t find what you need on our website, please feel free to email us at info[at]interregeurope.eu or give us a call at +33 328 144 107. We are available on Mondays at 2-5pm and Fridays at 9am-12 noon (CET).
Examples of cooperation projects
Have a look at some examples of interregional cooperation projects in each of the programme's four themes. Our running projects can also be of inspiration to you.
Research and innovation
Regional authorities and business support players sharing experience on public funding schemes for innovation support as a key element of innovation infrastructure, resulting in action plans for the creation in each region of a revolving fund for technology innovation either as a ‘financial instrument’ in a regional Growth and Jobs programme or operated independently.
Exchange of experience among regional players to improve policies in support of innovation infrastructure (e.g. incubators, technology information centres, research centres) addressing the key societal challenges in the field of health, demographic change and well-being.
Regional development innovation agencies exchanging practices on cluster development and the management of life-science clusters, resulting in action plans for establishing new regional and cross-border clusters through projects under their respective regional Growth and Jobs and cross-border ETC programmes.
Cooperation among regional authorities and business support players from regions with strong ICT or new media sectors to exchange practices and prepare action to increase intra- and interregional triple-helix cooperation facilitating the commercialisation of R&D results.
Cooperation among regional authorities and business support agencies to exchange practices on the set-up and management of seed-capital facilities to support SMEs, to prepare the creation of such financial support schemes through the partners’ programmes for Investment for Growth and Jobs or other regional business support programmes.
Regional authorities and business support actors sharing experiences on awareness raising and building entrepreneurial capacities among young people and developing action plans for the introduction of young entrepreneur support schemes in their regions.
Exchange of practices about SME internationalisation and export support facilities among regional development agencies, resulting in action plans for establishing new and improving existing SME internationalisation support facilities in each region through a project under the regional Growth and Jobs programme or other regional programmes.
Exchange of experience and good practices of regional and local authorities resulting in action plans for setting up regional structures to promote and facilitate local sustainable energy generation and distribution systems in rural areas.
Regional and city authorities sharing experiences on sustainable mobility measures, resulting in action plans that prepare actions and investments to increase the use of low-carbon transport options to be funded from Growth & Jobs programmes or other regional programmes.
Cooperation among regions and regional energy agencies on practices to encourage and support businesses to invest in energy-efficiency measures, resulting in the preparation of regional support programmes for energy efficiency in companies.
Environment and resource efficiency
Exchange of practices between regional authorities and environment agencies in urbanised regions on nature management to prepare the development and integration of regional green infrastructures in areas under urban pressure, as part of regional (Growth and Jobs) programmes.
Regional authorities and knowledge institutes exchanging experiences on methods to assess the vulnerability of regional and cross-border ecosystems, identify mitigation measures and to plan their application through regional Growth & Jobs and ETC or cross-border cooperation programmes.
Regional business support actors sharing experiences on support measures and schemes to encourage manufacturing SMEs to assess their resource use and introduce more resource-efficient work processes, and to prepare the introduction of these instruments through a regional Growth & Jobs programme or another programme.
Exchange of experience among regional authorities and waste management agencies on policies and measures to reduce waste volumes and to increase recycling rates among small businesses and households, and on planning the implementation of those measures as part of regional waste management programmes.
Interreg Europe will launch calls for proposals throughout the programming period so keep an eye out for the next call!
This document is essential reading for anyone interested in making cooperation work.