Interreg, or officially, "European territorial cooperation", is part of the structural and investment policy of the European Union. For more than 20 years, it has been supporting transnational cooperations between regions, towns and cities influencing everyday life for example in the fields of transport, employment and environmental protection. Interreg is realised within three key areas (so-called strands).
Interreg and its three strands:
- cross-border cooperation (Strand A): advancing economic and social cooperation in adjacent border regions
- transnational cooperation (Strand B): promoting cooperation between national, regional and local partners in transnational programme areas in order to increase the territorial integration of these areas
- interregional cooperation (Strand C): promoting cooperation networks and exchange of experiences in order to improve the efficiency of existing regional development and cohesion instruments.
Interreg is not managed centrally by the European Commission. In each border region, each transnational programme area, representatives of the national and regional authorities of the member states involved come together with representatives of local authorities and non-governmental organisations and with business and social partners and define the development priorities of their relevant programmes. A programme is then realised via concrete projects. Partners from both sides of a border or, in the case of transnational programmes, even from several countries have to team up and participate in such projects. Within the projects as well, defining objectives, realising projects and reviewing performance is jointly done by the partners.