The Interreg 2021-2027 programme allows regional and national authorities to collaborate and define solutions for common challenges, to develop and deliver better policy. On this page you can learn more about the various Interreg programmes.
Interreg programme summary
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. In 2021-2027 it will enable investments in a smarter, greener, more connected and more social Europe that is closer to its citizens.
Interreg is one of the key instruments of the European Union (EU) supporting cooperation across borders through project funding. It aims to jointly tackle common challenges and find shared solutions in fields such as health, environment, research, education, transport, sustainable energy and more. Interreg is funded by ERDF, and €8 billion has been allocated for the 2021-2027 period.
3 types of Interreg programmes
Interreg offers 3 types of programmes to support European territorial cooperation.
- Cross-border collaborations (60 programmes), supporting cooperation between at least 2 Member states countries that share the same border.
- Transnational collaborations (14 programmes), supporting cooperation between neighbouring regions from several countries of the EU.
- Interregional cooperations (4 programmes), supporting projects that can cover the whole of Europe.
Key policy objectives
The Interreg supports the policy objectives (PO) set out by the ERDF and the Cohesion fund:
- Smarter Europe- enabling the uptake of innovative technologies across EU
- Greener carbon-free Europe- fostering the transitions towards a net-zero carbon economy
- More connected Europe– enhancing sustainable transport and cross border mobility
- More social and inclusive Europe – ensuring equal opportunities for health, education, and employment of citizens.
- Closer to citizens- supporting sustainable creation of urban, rural, and coastal areas
Additionally, the Interreg has two additional specific objectives:
- Better cooperation governance- improving the representation of civil society in policies
- Safer and more secure Europe – management of mobility migration and border management and support of innovative solutions to today’s safety and security challenges
Not all PO are relevant for each Interreg programme. Each programme decides the priority and challenges relevant to the area and determines the specific objectives accordingly.
General programme information
The average subsidy per project is expected to be €1 to 6 million. Financed projects last approximately between 3 to 5 years. Deadlines may vary per Interreg programme.
Applications should be provided by a consortium. It can be formed by governmental entities, research institutions, companies, regional development agencies, and non-profit organizations. However, the lead partner is usually a non-profit entity.
Projects should aim at overcoming common challenges, addressing one of the programme’s objectives. Interreg usually finances activities of joint strategies development, demonstration and piloting projects (late TRL stages) to remove boundaries for the adaptation of certain innovative processes/products/services, or knowledge dissemination activities.
A few Interreg programmes are presented below.
Interreg North-West Europe
Open to consortium composed of Governments organisations, companies, regional development agencies, knowledge institutions and non-profit organisations.
Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Switzerland [without EU funding] will participate in the Interreg North-West Europe Programme. The UK will not participate.
Total Budget: €310M
Step 1: 9 February 2023
Step 2: July 2023
Scope: The Interreg North-West Europe Programme fosters transnational cooperation to make Northwestern Europe a key economic player and an attractive place to work and live, with high levels of innovation, sustainability and cohesion. The 2021-2027 Programme wants to jointly “Promote a green, smart and just transition for all NWE territories with the aim to support a balanced development and make all regions more resilient”.
To deliver this ambition, the Programme has identified five thematic priorities:
- Priority 1: Climate and environment
- Priority 2: Energy transition
- Priority 3: Circular economy
- Priority 4: Innovation and resilience
- Priority 5: Inclusive society
Open to consortiums formed by public authorities, managing authorities/intermediate bodies, and other non-profit organizations (in collaboration with their local policymakers). The consortium should include policy organizations from at least three different countries in the 27 EU member states, Norway and Switzerland [without EU funding].
Total budget: € 379 million
Subsidy: The average total budget per project is € 1-2 million:
- EU member state partners get up to 80% of project activities;
- Private non-profit organisations can get 70% of their cost refunded;
- Partners from Norway get 50% funds;
- Switzerland manages the funding of their partners directly.
Scope: The aim of the cooperation should be to exchange knowledge and lesson-learned between the consortium members and work together on a shared policy issue. The lessons they learn lead to the improvement of regional policies and a more sustainable economic, social and environmental impact on the ground for the people and the place they serve. Interreg Europe supports activities that should focus on specific themes.
The programme has one overarching theme for 2021-2027: better cooperation governance. And the other specific themes are:
- A more competitive and smarter Europe,
- A greener and more resilient Europe,
- A more social and inclusive Europe.
North-sea region Interreg
A consortium should be formed with partners from at least 3 countries. Any organization can apply. Participating countries are: The Netherlands, Denmark and regions from Belgium, Germany, France, Norway, and Sweden. Governments, Knowledge institutions, development companies, non-profit institutions, SMEs can take part of the programme. Private companies cannot take on the role as lead partner.
Total Budget: €171M
Deadline: Expired. Call 1 is a single stage application. From Call 2 ( expected in September), the application procedure is divided in two steps. First, the consortium sends an expression of interest, if accepted, they can submit the full proposal.
Scope: Proposal should focus on one of the following priorities:
- Robust and smart economies in the North Sea region (research and innovation capacity; developing skills for smart specialisation, industrial transition and entrepreneurship);
- A green transition in the North Sea region (energy efficiency, transition to a circular economy, sustainable multimodal urban mobility);
- A climate-resilient North Sea region (climate adaptation and risk prevention, protecting biodiversity and green infrastructure in urban areas, and reducing all forms of pollution);
- Better governance (strengthening the institutional capacity of public authorities, in particular those responsible for managing a given area, and of stakeholders).
In addition to these priorities, the new North Sea Region programme has 3 ‘spotlight’ themes. The spotlight themes are also useful for the coherence between projects in different priorities. The spotlight themes are:
- Rural-urban linkages;
- Strengths and challenges in the North Sea basin.
At the beginning of the Interreg programme, small-scale project will serve to kick-start the programme, e.g. by establishing new partnerships, involving the new territories, addressing new thematic fields, and setting the scene for bigger initiatives (projects) in and/or outside the North Sea Programme. In future calls, for small-scale projects will need to fit targeted topics.
For the first call the deadline is on the 7th of March and the maximum subsidy is of €500,000. Project should have a maximum length of 18 months.
Interreg Vlaanderen -Nederland
Entities from Flanders and south Netherlands (Zeeland, Noord-Brabant and Limburg) can be in the consortium. Further details pending release of full programme.
Total Budget: €192.9M
Deadlines: Pre-proposal: Expired
Full proposal: 25 November 2022
Estimated start of a project is March/April 2023.
Next call is expected in February 2023
Scope: Proposals should be addressing 4 domains:
- A smarter Europe. Innovation and skills for smart transformation
- A greener Europe. Climate, environment and nature.
- A more social Europe. Inclusive labour market, education and sustainable leisure.
- A Europe without borders. Collaborate to conquer border obstacles.
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