European Territorial Cooperation

"More growth and more jobs for all regions and cities of the European Union": This is the message that lies at the heart of the programming period 2007 – 2013, as regards the Cohesion Policy of the European Union and the application tools. Therefore, the policy encourages the States - Members of the EU to cooperate and learn from each other through joint programs, projects and networks. In the programming period 2007 - 2013, therefore, the European Bilateral Cooperation emerged as Objective for the Cohesion Policy, together with the Convergence and Regional Competitiveness and Employment, and provides a framework for the exchange of experiences between operators from different countries at regional and local level. With an EU budget of nearly 7.8 billion euros on internal borders and which rises to 9.4 billion euros, if we consider and CBC funding under the IPA and ENPI, it is apparent that territorial cooperation has an enhanced role, which is expressed with 75 cross-border projects (including those at the external borders of the EU), 13 transnational programs, an interregional program and three networks.


The three dimensions of the European Territorial Cooperation are:

1. Transboundary Cooperation: it contributes to the conversion of the regions on both sides of internal or external borders of the European Union to strong economic and social poles. Specifically, actions in the areas of entrepreneurship are encouraged, improvement of joint management of natural resources, strengthen of the links between urban and rural areas, improvement of the access to transportation and communication networks, development of shared infrastructure, administrative cooperation, employment, interaction between communities, culture and social cohesion. The CBC aims to 'fill the gaps'. It achieves this through agreed cross-border strategies of ‘analysis and response’, specifically designed for each border region.

2. Transnational Cooperation: it promotes cooperation between the large European regions (eg the Baltic, North Sea, Mediterranean, Alps) and facilitates coordinated policy responses to common challenges, such as flood management, transport, international business and research links, urban development etc. Special emphasis is given to overseas and island regions of the EU (eg Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, North Region, etc).

3. Interregional Cooperation: it provides a framework for the exchange of experiences between stakeholders at regional and local level across Europe, aiming to contribute to European strategies for production, employment and sustainable development. Additionally, it aim to eliminate inequalities through the interconnection of less experienced with more advanced regions in various policy areas, such as innovation, demographic change, energy market and climate change.


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