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ERDF & External action: Cooperate with your neighbors!

2015 is the year of development. This is a perfect opportunity to launch a collaborative development project lead by organizations from both a Member state and a neighbor country.

European funding opportunities are divided into 3 categories which have their own logic:
– Structural funds (ESF)
– Intra-community programmes
– External action
It is known that an intra community programme, as HORIZON 2020, can support an ERDF project under specific conditions. But, regarding External Action and Structural Funds, one may think there is any links between those but then, one would be wrong. There are opportunities to mash them up.


The fifth programming period of INTERREG has a budget of EUR 10.1 billion invested in over 100 cooperation programmes between regions and territorial, social and economic partners. This budget also includes the ERDF allocation for Member States to participate in EU external border cooperation programmes supported by other instruments (Instrument for Pre-Accession and European Neighborhood Instrument).

Cross borders programmes exist mobilizing :
– INTERREG for partners from Member state
– IPA for partners from candidate countries

example, the DANUBE TRANSNATIONAL PROGRAMME supports cross-border co-operation between regions of Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic, Slovak republic Hungary, Austria, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine.


EU outermost regions (Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Reunion, Mayotte, Saint-Martin, Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands) receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Countries States and the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) benefit from aid for development cooperation under the European Development Fund (EDF). New rules put in place for 2014-2020 are designed to make it easier to develop joint ERDF-EDF projects.

Dominica, an ACP country, has considerable potential for the production of geothermal energy. Following the success of the exploration stage, the Government of Dominica is launching the production stage and the establishment of an appropriate institutional framework, for which it is receiving a soft loan of €6.5m. From the French Development Agency (AFD) and a grant of €2m. From the 10th EDF through the Caribbean Investment Facility. This project could lead to the construction and operation of geothermal power plants with capacities of some 100 megawatts, which would not only benefit Dominica itself but would also benefit two outermost regions, Guadeloupe and Martinique, thanks to a grid connection.


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