European Territorial Cooperation (Interreg) is part of European Union’s cohesion policy.
Interreg is one of the key instruments of the European Union to support cooperation across national borders through project funding. The aim is to tackle common challenges identified jointly in the regions and to find shared solutions in fields such as research, environment, climate change, tourism and culture.
2021–2027 programme period Finland is participating in 8 Interreg programmes:
Cross-border cooperation programmes:
Interreg Cental Baltic
Transnational cooperation programmes:
Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic
Interreg Baltic Sea Region
Interregional cooperation programmes:
Programming of Interreg NEXT programmes Kolarctic, Karelia and South-East Finland - Russia has been suspended due to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine.
In Finland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is the national authority responsible for Interreg programmes.
Interreg programmes promote the exchange of experiences and dissemination of good practice be-tween the participating countries and regions. This can have a significant impact on the competitive-ness and economic development of regions, and especially of border regions.
For Finland, the aim for Interreg cooperation is also to strengthen the entire Baltic Sea region as a European and global economic area, and to find new solutions and formats for the developmental problems of sparsely populated northern regions.
Each EU Member State has received ERDF funding (European Regional Development Fund) which it allocates to the Interreg programmes (cross-border and transnational). The total EU funding for individual programmes is the sum of contributions made by participating countries. ERDF funding for interregional cooperation programmes is allocated directly from the EU budget.
The share of ERDF funding in projects being funded ranges between 65–80 percent, depending on the programme. In activities receiving state aid, this share may be smaller. Mandatory national funding can be both public and private.
Finnish project partners may apply for state match funding to cover a part of the national funding needed.