The first call for proposals of the INTERREG Europe program should be launched in mid-June 2015, and close in mid-July 2015. This information is an opportunity to present the new interregional cooperation program of the European Union, which will be the continuation for 2014-2020 of INTERREG IVC.
Achievements of INTERREG IVC – 2007-2013
Before presenting the new program, it is important to review the results of the INTERREG IVC program. During 2007-2013, 1357 applications were submitted, and 204 projects were selected, representing 2285 partners. End of 2014, 6500 good practices had been identified, 511 actually transferred from one region to another, and finally 571 public policies had been improved according to the managing authorities. For instance, the IMAGEEN project conducted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon allowed seven European partners including the City of Warsaw and the Province of Turin among others, to improve their public policies in the field of support to enterprises. The ICER project helped seven European organizations from Ireland, France or Slovenia to exchange good practices in tourism development policies.
Under INTERREG IVC, a thematic capitalization program was also launched. It led to the production of 12 reports each covering a particular policy, and including lists of best practices and recommendations in order to help stakeholders to improve their public policies. These reports are available online on: http://www.interreg4c.eu/capitalisation/.
When comparing the results of the INTERREG IVC program by country, Italy comes first in many fields, including the number of partners selected for funding, with 2133 partners in total. Spain with 1624 partners and Greece with 1510 partners complete the top three, ahead of Germany (775), the UK (752) and France (623).
INTERREG Europe – 2014-2020
In 2014-2020, the INTERREG Europe program will be the continuation of INTERREG IVC.
It will co-fund projects in the 28 member states of the EU but also in Norway and Switzerland through four thematic priorities, which are the following: research / innovation, SME competitiveness, low carbon economy, and finally environment and risk prevention. Therefore, it is aimed at enabling local governments to exchange ideas and best practices, and to integrate them into their public policies and thus contribute to their improvement.
The budget of the INTERREG Europe program amounts to 359 billion euros. Even if this budget is much lower than the budgets of the other cohesion policy programs, it does not mean than it is of minor importance for the EU. On the contrary, it is in accordance with a global political priority of the European Union: promoting cooperation between regions, and thus helping them to be more effective in the management of funds. It is also reflected for instance in the strategy of “smart specialization”, which encourages European regions to share experiences and identify their strengths and weaknesses in the management of Structural Funds.
Key structures in charge of the program management
The management structure of the INTERREG Europe program is made of:
– The managing authority, which is the Regional Council of Nord-Pas-de-Calais
– The monitoring committee, composed of representatives of Member States
– The audit authority, which is the Interministerial Commission for Coordination of Controls of actions co-financed by the Structural Funds (CICC), located in Paris
– The certifying authority, which is the province of East Flanders, in charge of certifying project expenditure
– The Joint Secretariat based in Lille, in charge of the assessment, monitoring and management of the projects. It assists the monitoring committee, the certifying authority and the audit authority in carrying out their duties.
Finally, each state has a national managing authority, responsible for first level controls, and for assessing the eligibility of candidate structures. There are also national contact points in each State to facilitate relations with the managing authority, research for partners, and to provide advice and information to partners about project ideas or vigilance points to be observed.
Next week, our article will also be about the INTERREG Europe program. We will focus more precisely on the actions implemented and on the new characteristics of the program for 2014-2020.