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Glossary

European Territorial Cooperation (INTERREG)

  • Posted on: 06.08.2012
  • Abbreviation: ETC / INTERREG

Website: Link

European Territorial Cooperation is central to the construction of a common European space, and a cornerstone of European integration. ETC is one of the two goals of cohesion policy and provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different Member States. The overarching objective of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) is to promote a harmonious economic, social and territorial development of the Union as a whole.

In the period 2014-20 the European Territorial Co-operation objective (formerly the INTERREG Community Initiative) covers three types of programmes:

  • Cross-border Cooperation: helps transform regions located on either side of internal or external borders of the European Union into strong economic and social poles. In particular cross-border actions are encouraged in the fields of entrepreneurship, improving joint management of natural resources, supporting links between urban and rural areas, improving access to transport and communication networks, developing joint use of infrastructure, administrative cooperation and capacity building, employment, community interaction, culture and social affairs.
  • Transnational Cooperation: promotes cooperation among greater European regions, including the ones surrounding sea basins (e.g. Baltic Sea Region, North Sea, Mediterranean and Atlantic Area) or mountain ranges (e.g. Alpine Space) and facilitates coordinated strategic responses to joint challenges like flood management, transport and communication corridors, international business and research linkages, urban development and others. Special attention is given to outermost and island regions (e.g. Indian Ocean, Caribbean Area or Northern Periphery).
  • Interregional Cooperation: provides a framework for the exchange of experiences between local and regional actors from across Europe in order to contribute to the EU’s strategies on growth, jobs and sustainable development. In addition, it aims at reducing disparities by matching less experienced regions with more advanced regions in the various policy fields such as innovation, demographic change, energy supply and climate change.
3 Networking Programmes complete the ETC Objective
  • ESPON is the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion. It works with studying and predicting the development of the European territory.
  • URBACT deals with exchange between Europe's cities on integrated urban development.
  • INTERACT is the cooperation and exchange network for territorial cooperation programmes.

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