Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung

Countryside and traffic near Freudenstadt
Source: Rainer Sturm/pixelio.de

Central Europe

European interface: The Central Europe Programme area runs along large parts of the former Iron Curtain and includes regions with significant socio-economic differences. At the same time, it is an important hub for European connections. The aim of the Programme is to bring regions and cities together in order to promote territorial cohesion and tackle common challenges through transnational cooperation.

Map: Central Europe - Eligible transnational cooperation areas 2021–2027
Source: BBSR

German federal states involved

Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Lower Saxony (only Greater Brunswick)

Europe’s interface

The Central Europe Programme area is an “interface of Europe”. It covers Croatia, Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and parts of Germany and Italy. The area is an important hub for European north-south and east-west connections, going beyond its own borders. The impacts of the former “Iron Curtain” still can be noticed. Despite large progress, the economic and social differences between “eastern” and “western “countries in Central Europe are still visible. Regions with increasing urban and industrialised areas face rural or peripheral areas, which are often characterised by smaller competitiveness and population decline. The Programme's vision is therefore a united Central Europe, which cooperates to be linked up in a better, smarter and greener way. The Programme is aimed at bringing regions and cities together across borders in order to make them more resilient towards joint challenges like economic transformation processes, the climatic change and the long-term socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Topics of cooperation

The Central Europe Programme supports projects concerning the following four priorities. The transnational cooperation measures are expected to support the development and implementation of strategies, action plans, instruments, training and pilot measures as well as other actions.

Cooperating for a smarter central Europe

  • Strengthening innovation capacities in central Europe
  • Strengthening skills for smart specialisation, industrial transition and entrepreneurship in central Europe

Cooperating for a greener central Europe

  • Supporting the energy transition to a climate-neutral central Europe
  • Increasing the resilience to climate change risks in central Europe
  • Taking circular economy forward in central Europe
  • Safeguarding the environment in central Europe
  • Greening urban mobility in central Europe

Cooperating for a better connected Europe

  • Improving transport connections of rural and peripheral regions in central Europe

Improving governance for cooperation in central Europe

  • Strengthening governance for integrated territorial development in central Europe

Budget and funding

  • Central Europe (2021 – 2022): 281 million euros
  • among them resources from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 225 million euros
  • EU cofinancing rate: 80%
  • eligible for funding: staff costs, organisation and travel costs, external expertise, equipment, investments (limited)

Types of projects

Regular projects:

  • Partners: 8 – 12
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Total budget per project recommended: 1 – 5 million euros

Small projects:

  • Partners: 3 – 6
  • Duration: 12 – 18 months
  • Total budget recommended per project : 400,000 – 800,000 euros
  • Pioneer projects with a high degree of innovation
  • Capitalisation projects

How to become a project partner

At least three financing partners from at least three different countries come together in the Central Europe Programme, of which at least two partners must be based in the Programme area. Regular projects involve about eight to twelve partners per project. A lead partner assumes the overall control of a project.

The Programme addresses public and private stakeholders. Examples of partners eligible for funding under the Central Europe Programme:

  • public authorities (national, regional, local authorities)
  • (public) service providers
  • research institutes and universities
  • chambers, registered societies and associations
  • business support organisations
  • small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)
  • non-governmental organisations

Programme website

Interreg Central Europe 2021 – 2027

Website German Contact Point

CENTRAL EUROPE Contact Point Germany

Summary of the cooperation programme

Non-technical summary (PDF)

Interreg Central Europe Programme 2021 - 2027 logo (© Interreg Central Europe Programme)

Contact BBSR

Brigitte Ahlke
Division RS 3 - European Spatial and Urban Development

Phone: +49 228 99401-2330
Email: brigitte.ahlke@bbr.bund.de

National Contact Point

Dr. Bernd Diehl
Nationale Kontaktstelle für Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE in Deutschland

Leibniz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung in Dresden
Weberplatz 1
01217 Dresden

Phone: +49 351 4679-277
Email: b.diehl@ioer.de