Interregional cooperation happens on a pan-European level and does not only involve the 28 EU member states but also neighbouring countries. It promotes networking and the provision of data and indicators with the aim to develop good practices and to strengthen the exchange of experiences in the field of regional development. Especially economically weak regions are to learn and benefit from stronger regions in this way.
Interreg C is subdivided into four programmes:
Interreg Europe is the new EU "policy learning" programme in the field of regional development. Regional development action plans concerning the four topics "Research and Innovation", "Competitiveness and SMEs", "Low-Carbon Economy" and "Environment and Resource Efficiency" can be developed, implemented and evaluated within projects together with other stakeholders. In addition, policy learning platforms will start running from the beginning of 2016. Platforms are a space for continuous learning about public policies. Relevant stakeholders can find solutions there to improve the way they manage and implement their policies.
ERDF budget: approx. 395 million euros
The ESPON European Spatial Planning Observation Network was established in 2002 by the EU member states and the European Commission to improve the knowledge and information basic to the European spatial development policy. ESPON supports the European spatial development policy and political strategies aiming at territorial cohesion. Besides the 28 EU member states, the neighbouring countries Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland participate in the programme. The ESPON programme is supported by national institutions (ESPON Contact Points) acting as a go-between between the European ESPON programme, the national research sector and the political and planning sector. The Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development is the national ESPON Contact Point for Germany.
ERDF budget: approx. 41 million euros
URBACT is a programme of the European Commission, the EU member states and Norway and Switzerland promoting the exchange of knowledge and experience between European cities in all urban development policy fields. Networks form the core of the programme and are an key element for exchange and mutual learning. To cities with common or similar challenges, tasks or concepts they offer the opportunity to exchange on solutions and instruments and to draw lessons.
ERDF budget: approx. 74 million euros
INTERACT supports the transfer of good practices, knowledge and know-how between the more than 100 Interreg programmes in Europe, it creates synergies and promotes their effectiveness. INTERACT acts EU-wide and involves all member states plus Norway and Switzerland. The main target group are the Interreg programmes and their staff. INTERACT among other things offers them seminars concerning current issues of programme implementation. It creates studies within which the administrative procedures of the various programmes are compared and evaluated. One important task of INTERACT was to develop templates and forms for project applications and final reports or other documents demonstrating the common ground of the many Interreg programmes and paving the way for consistent processes across the programme areas (and the member states). INTERACT furthermore markets the Interreg programmes and organises Europe-wide events and campaigns such as the European Cooperation Day (EC Day) or the activities concerning the 25th anniversary of Interreg in 2015.
ERDF budget: approx. 39 million euros