Also for Interreg, the new programme for the period 2021-2027 has finally been published. The first calls within the Interreg programme are now open. An excellent time to take a closer look!
Facts and Figures
The primary objective of Interreg 2021-2027 remains unchanged, namely to reduce economic disparities between European regions and member states, and to stimulate cooperation projects in the fields of innovation, environment, climate, renewable energy, CO2 reduction, and efficient use of natural resources and materials.
The key figures and conditions also remain largely unchanged for this period:
- Applications can be made for cooperation projects between governments, knowledge institutions, companies, non-profit institutions, and civil society organisations from at least 2 European countries.
- 50-60% of eligible costs is funded.
- The grant amounts to €3-6 million per project.
- The project duration is between 3-5 years.
Different Programme Lines
Interreg has both transnational B and regional A programmes, intended to strengthen Euroregional cooperation. The programmes relevant to the Netherlands are:
- Interreg B North Sea Region
- Interreg B North-West Europe
- Interreg A Netherlands-Flanders
- Interreg A Netherlands-Germany
- Interreg A Euroregion Meuse-Rhine
An important change is the disappearance of Interreg A 2Seas, which is no longer part of the 2021-2027 programme.
Interreg North Sea Region
This programme concerns the Netherlands and several other countries bordering the North Sea, including a number of Scandinavian countries. England is no longer part of the participating countries. However, Flanders and the northwest of France have been added (former Interreg 2Seas areas). The priorities for this period are:
- Economic growth, with a focus on SMEs and public services;
- Eco-innovation, including circular economy, development of green services and products, and the energy transition;
- Sustainability, with a focus on climate adaptation, ecosystems, and a sustainable blue economy and maritime sector;
- Green transportation and mobility, for both people and goods.
Interreg North-West Europe
With regard to the regions, there is overlap here with the North Sea Region programme, only here the focus shifts from Scandinavia to the interior of France and Germany. Switzerland and Ireland also participate, and this year a few northern Dutch and German provinces have been added. The themes for this period are:
- Smart climate adaptation and the restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity;
- A smart and equal energy transition;
- The transition to a local, circular economy;
- Increasing regional development and resilience through innovative technologies; and
- A more equal region with access to healthcare and the labour market for all, a thriving cultural sector, and sustainable tourism.
This regional programme between the southern Dutch provinces and Flanders focuses on a smarter, greener, more social, and more connected Europe. We distinguish the following themes:
- Innovation and skills for smart transformations;
- Climate, environment, and nature;
- An inclusive labour market, education, and sustainable leisure; and
- Working together to overcome border obstacles.
This regional programme places a clear emphasis on SMEs. We distinguish five themes:
- Health & Life Sciences;
- High Tech Systems & Materials;
- Logistics; and
- Energy/CO2 reduction.
The new 2021-2027 programme has yet to be published. However, the main themes have already been announced:
- Industrial transition;
- Green society;
- Healthier citizens;
- Tourism; and
- Living and working without borders.
In addition, a separate call was opened on February 10 for projects related to cross-border water management, crisis management, and spatial planning to reduce flood risk.
For Interreg North Sea Region, you can now apply for so-called small projects, with a budget of up to €500,000 and a project duration of max. 1.5 years. The deadline is 7 March 2022.
For regular projects there are two options: You can submit an Expression of Interest now, again before 7 March 2022, after which you will receive feedback from the review committee and can prepare for a full application. However, you can also choose to submit a full application at once and thus skip this step. The deadline for this is 22 April 2022. Note: In later rounds of the programme, the Expression of Interest becomes mandatory.
The North-West Europe programme is adopting a two-stage approach. The first opening for Expressions of Interest is scheduled 22 March 2022, with a deadline of 15 June 2022. After a positive assessment by the programme, a full proposal can be submitted in the fall.
Interreg Netherlands-Flanders is expected to open this month (February 2022), with a deadline of 31 March 2022. For the Netherlands-Germany, continuous submission is possible. The deadlines for the Interreg Euroregion Meuse-Rhine programme have not yet been published, with the exception of the call for cross-border water management (deadline 15 March 2022).
For many organisations, Interreg is an important programme for taking innovative projects a step further. As described above, now is the time to apply for, or to start thinking about, an application.
At Evers + Manders we have years of experience with the various Interreg programmes. We are keen to help you think about a suitable and promising project definition and to help you prepare your application.
An example of a very successful project that we support is Polder2C’s, in which a Living Lab is set up in the Hedwige-Prosperpolder, where realistic scenarios can be simulated with regard to dike safety and high-water crisis management.
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