Interreg’s goal is to reduce the economic differences that exist between different EU regions and member states. It stimulates cooperative projects in the fields of innovation, environment, climate, sustainable energy, CO2 reduction and efficient use of natural resources and materials.
Interreg is made up of several programmes, divided by European regions. The Netherlands participates in a number of European, transnational and cross-border programmes. The budget for the various programmes comes from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO)
All Interreg programmes have the prerequisite of cooperation with partners from other European countries.
Objectives and target audiences of Interreg
The Interreg programmes are intended for cooperative projects between governments, knowledge institutes, businesses, non-profit organisations and social organisations (foundations, associations and interest groups) from the various countries participating in a programme.
Some Interreg programmes specifically target SMEs.
Projects must suit the programmes’ priorities. The NWE and NSR programme also focus on demonstration projects during which new techniques and methods – including joint testing, validation, evaluation and distribution of results – are applied.
The EUROPE programme requires that projects focus on knowledge exchange with partners in other European regions, with the ultimate goal of improving an existing policy instrument.
Conditions, characteristics and figures
- Cooperation between at least two parties from countries that participate in the programme
- Grant percentages vary per programme: NWE 60%, NSR 50%, Europe 75-85%, FL-NL, Ger-NL and 2seas 50%.
- Two calls per year per programme in accordance with the 2-step principle. Interreg Ger-NL is always open to applications.
- Project scope indicative 3-6 million euros, lead time 3-5 years.
- Under certain conditions, a contribution for drawing up the application (PSR) and/or an additional contribution for the co-financing (CETSI) can be acquired via RVO
Meanwhile, more is known about the Interreg 2021-2027 programmes.
- Interreg Nort-West Europe
The Interreg NWE programme, like the current programme, has a 2-step approach: a summary application (step 1) and a full application (step 2). Whereas previously there were 2 calls per year, this period will now be shortened to about 9 months. Call 1/step 1 opens 22 March 2021, the deadline is 2 June 2022. Decision-making on this first batch of projects is around the summer. Approved projects have until the end of December 2022 to complete step 2.
The schedule for the second call is also roughly known. It is expected that step 1 of call 2 will close early February 2023.
- Interreg North Sea Region
Interreg North Sea Region is now open for applications. The first call can be submitted either in the 2-step submission or directly as a full proposal. The call is open to all priorities – both regular and small-scale projects.
The deadlines for the various projects are as follows:
Applications for small-scale projects: 16 December 2021 – 7 March 2022
Expressions of Interest for regular projects: 16 December 2021 – 7 March 2022
Full application for regular projects: 16 December 2021 – 22 April 2022
The decision will take place around 28 June for the small-scale projects and the Expressions of Interest, and around 20 September for the full applications.
- Interreg Flanders Netherlands
It is expected that the first call will open early February 2022, after final approval by the European Commission, with a relatively short lead time until closure on 31 March 2022.
These are the four pillars on which the currently draft programme is based:
- A smarter Europe: innovation and skills for smart transformation
- A greener Europe: climate, environment and nature
- A more social Europa: inclusive labour market, education and sustainable leisure time
- An Europe without borders: working together to overcome border barriers
Examples of projects funded with Interreg
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