Interreg European grant scheme

Interreg is a European grant scheme for spatial and regional development. Parties from various countries cooperate on Interreg projects.

European cooperation on economic development

The official name of Interreg is European Territorial Cooperation. There are three different Interreg programmes, focusing on:

Cooperation in border regions (Interreg A)

Over the period 2014-2020 the Netherlands will receive €309 million from the EU for programmes in border regions, on condition that government authorities and relevant parties double the amount.

Dutch economic activities and developments are often related to economic activities and developments in neighbouring countries. The purpose of the grants is to link these activities. The Netherlands will spend the money on three themes:

  • Innovation (in small and medium-sized businesses);
  • A low-carbon economy (renewable energy);
  • The human capital agenda/labour mobility (cross-border labour).

The relevant parties will follow national economic policy as far as possible. Examples include policy on top economic sectors, the Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth, and policy on nature and biodiversity.

Four programmes in border regions

The Netherlands is taking part in four border region programmes:

Cooperation between regions in various countries

The Netherlands is involved in two transnational programmes, in which several countries work together in a single EU region:

  • the North Sea Region Programme, involving Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom. The topics of the projects in this programme include renewable energy and sustainable transport. The purpose is to make the region more attractive to live, work and invest in.
  • The North-West Europe Programme, involving Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Switzerland. The programme focuses on innovation, a low-carbon economy and efficient use of resources and materials.

Interregional and Europe-wide cooperation

There are four Europe-wide programmes:

  • Interreg Europe focuses in particular on increased technological development and innovation, more competitive small and medium-sized businesses, and environmental protection.
  • Espon enhances balanced development in Europe. Researchers study territorial development. More information can be obtained from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency contact.
  • Interact provides knowledge, support and training for policymakers and project partners in the various Interreg programmes.
  • Urbact focuses on cooperation between towns and cities in 29 countries.