Commissioner Danuta Hübner said: "European Territorial Co-operation is essential as it brings regions and people together and facilitates the exchange of good ideas and best practice regardless of existing frontiers. It is thus particularly important to recognise the commitment shown by the border regions of Europe in getting so many decisions approved so quickly. We are one year ahead of the schedule compared to previous periods, which means that we have a real opportunity to maximise the potential of these programmes and to deliver real results to the EU citizens living in border regions."
The Transnational Programmes recently adopted:
* The "Central European Space" programme concerns Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Ukraine.
* The "South-East European Space" programme involves eight Member States (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia) and eight non-Member States (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine).
* The "Baltic Sea" programme: in addition to the eight EU member states in the region (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany), Norway, Belarus and the Russian Federation also participate in this important programme.
* The "Mediterranean" programme involves Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and the United Kingdom (Gibraltar) with the participation of Croatia and Montenegro.
The Cross-border programmes adopted in December and the EU investment involved:
-Germany-Netherlands (€ 138.6 million)
-Czech Republic-Poland (€ 219.4 million)
-Central Baltic (Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden): € 102.2 million
-South Baltic (Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Lithuania, Germany): € 60.7 million
-Nord (Sweden, Finland, Norway): € 33.9 million
-Grande Région (Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg): € 106 million
-Latvia-Lithuania (€ 63.9 million)
-Lithuania-Poland (€ 71.7 million)
-Romania-Bulgaria (€ 217.8 million)
-Spain-France (€168.6 million)
-Italy-Switzerland (€ 68.8 million)
-France-Switzerland (€ 55 million)
-Saxony-Czech Republic (€ 207.4 million)
-Bavaria-Czech Republic € 115.5 million
-Poland-Slovakia (€ 157.4 million)
-Hungary-Slovakia (€ 176.5 million)
-Slovakia-Czech Republic (€ 92.7 million)
-Austria-Czech Republic (€107.4 million)
-Estonia-Latvia (€ 38.2 million)
-Denmark-Germany (€ 44.3 million)
-Slovenia-Hungary (€ 29.3 million)
-Italy-Slovenia (€ 116.2 million)
-Hungary-Romania (€ 224.5 million)
-Germany-Poland (€105.1 million)
-Slovenia-Hungary (€ 29.3 million)
-Slovenia-Austria (€ 67 million)
-Austria-Slovakia (€ 59.9 million)
-Austria-Hungary (€ 82.3 million)
Two IPA cross-border programmes were adopted:
These two cross-border programmes combine funding from the European Regional Development Fund and from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) into a single community budget which will be managed along similar lines to the cross-border programmes between Member States. This approach will provide a good opportunity for the two partner countries involved to learn first-hand how Structural Funds principles operate and how programmes are implemented within the European Union. They will support actions for instance for the development of businesses and entrepreneurship, trainings, and projects for the protection of the environment.
-The programme associating Bulgaria and Turkey will receive €10 million of EU investment;
-The programme "Bulgaria-the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" will benefit from € 6.6 million of Community assistance.
In addition, the "Interact programme" was adopted which helps the Member States to exchange experience and which brings a support to the management organisations involve in the cooperation programmes.
Note for editors:
All Member States on each programme complete the EU support with a national financial contribution.
Based on the experience of the INTERREG initiative, the Member States have submitted in total 70 cross-border programmes to the Commission and 13 transnational programmes under the "European Territorial Cooperation Objective" for 2007-2013. For cooperation with candidate and potential candidate countries, 10 cross-border programmes under the pre-accession instrument IPA have been prepared together with the partner countries.
Memos on each of these programmes will be published shortly.
For further information on regional policy: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.htm