Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung

North Sea and mudflats
Source: Tim Caspary/pixelio.de

North Sea Region

Economic power on the coast: transnational projects in the North Sea Region play an important role in helping Europe grow together. The partners work together on topics referring to the sustainable development of the environment, the closure of value chains or the increase of innovation capacities.

Map: North Sea Region - Eligible transnational cooperation areas 2021–2027
Source: BBSR

German regions involved

Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein

Economic centre on the coast

The North Sea Region stretches from the deserted islands and fjords in the far north to the densely populated cities and research centres in the heart of Europe: it includes the regions of Norway and Sweden located on the coast and its hinterland, the whole of Denmark and the Netherlands, the Flemish provinces of Belgium and coastal regions in Germany and northern France. The North Sea Region is characterised by its economic power, by good infrastructures, a highly qualified workforce and a strong research and development sector. The North Sea Region is already dealing sustainably with environmental risks in many areas, especially in the context of the transition to a low-carbon economy and society and in adapting to the consequences of climate change. Protecting the sea and the coast is an important topic here. Since the North Sea Region with its ports is the most important logistics hub in the EU, sustainable logistics and mobility also play an important role.

Topics of cooperation

The North Sea Programme supports projects concerning the following four priorities:

Robust and smart economies in the North Sea Region

  • Enhancing research and innovation capacities and the uptake of advanced technologies
  • Developing skills for smart specialisation, industrial transition and entrepreneurship

A green transition in the North Sea Region

  • Promoting energy efficiency measures and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Promoting renewable energy
  • Promoting smart energy systems, storage and grids and grids d storage
  • Promoting the transition to a circular economy
  • Promoting sustainable multimodal urban mobility

A climate resilient North Sea Region

  • Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and disaster resilience
  • Enhancing biodiversity, green infrastructure in the urban environment, and reducing pollution

Better governance

  • Better cooperation governance

Spotlight themes

Spotlight themes play a special role for the project implementation within all priorities:

  • digitalisation
  • rural-urban linkages
  • strengths and challenges in the North Sea basin

Budget and funding

  • North Sea Region (2021– 2027): 280 million euros
  • among them resources from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 171 million euros
  • EU cofinancing rate: up to 60%
  • eligible for funding: staff costs, organisation and travel costs, external expertise, equipment, investments (limited)

Types of projects

Regular projects:

  • Partners: approx. 10 – 15
  • Duration: approx. 3 years
  • Total budget in general: approx. 3.5 million euros

Small-scale projects:

  • Partners: 3 – 7
  • Duration: 18 months maximum
  • Total budget recommended: 200,000 – 500,000 euros
  • Projects as ideas laboratory with a high innovation content
  • Projects concerning spotlight themes
  • Capitalisation projects

How to become a project partner

Under the North Sea Programme, at least three partners from at least three different countries join within a project. About 10 to 15 institutions participate in regular projects, and 3 to 7 in small-scale projects. A lead partner takes the overall control in each case.

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

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

Programme website

Interreg North Sea 2021-2027

Website German Contact Point

Interreg Nordseeprogramm – Deutsches Beratungsnetzwerk

Interreg North Sea Region Programme 2021 - 2027 logo (© Interreg North Sea Region Programme)

Contact BBSR

Christina Bredella
Division RS 3 - European Spatial and Urban Development


Phone: +49 22899 401-2360
Email: Christina.Bredella@BBR.Bund.de

National Contact Point

Annika Rix
Deutscher National Contact Point für das Interreg Nordseeprogramm 2021 – 2027


Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg
Hermannstraße 15
20095 Hamburg

Phone: +49 40 428 31 1477
Email: national-contactpoint@sk.hamburg.de