About the North Sea Region
The 7 North Sea Region Programme countries are Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. The region is connected by the North Sea, and the Programme area is made up of regions in the 6 member states and Norway that border the North Sea. In size the region covers an area of 664.000 km2, 14 % of the EU25 area and a population of approximately 60 Million, 13 % of the EU 25.The areas in the region share many of the same problems and challenges. By working together and sharing knowledge and experiences it is hoped that a sustainable and balanced future will be secured for the whole region.
The Interreg programmes aim at stimulating transnational cooperation in the EU. The programmes are divided into different strands, according to size and geographical span. There are A, B and C strands. The North Sea Region Programme is a B strand programme. It focuses on encouraging and supporting transnational cooperation in the North Sea Region. The North Sea Region Programme began its work in 2000 and the current Programme is a continuation of the IIC pilot Programme, which ran 1997-1999, and the IIIB Programme, which formally ran 2000-2006.
The North Sea Region Programme homepage: http://www.northsearegion.eu/ivb/home/
The European Territorial Co-operation objective is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and supports cross-border, transnational and interregional co-operation programmes with a total budget of €8.7 billion from 2007-2013. Thereby, as part of the (ERDF-) European territorial cooperation objective, the European Transnational Cooperation Programme with a total ERDF contribution of €1.8 billion adds an important dimension to regional development in Europe. It aims to establish and develop transnational cooperation through the financing of networks and of actions conducive to integrated territorial development leading to agreed priorities and a coordinated strategic response.
The main categories of action are the following:
- Innovation (especially networks of universities, research institutions, SMEs)
- Environment (especially water resources, rivers, lakes, sea)
- Accessibility (including telecommunications, and in particular the completion of networks)
- Sustainable urban development (especially polycentric development).
Thirteen transnational co-operation programmes cover larger areas of co-operation such as the Baltic Sea, Alpine and Mediterranean regions. The following 10 programmes focus on maritime transport: Northern Periphery, Baltic Sea, North West Europe, North Sea, Atlantic Coast, Alpine Space, Central Europe, South West Europe, Mediterranean, South East Europe
The North Sea Region Programme is financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Norwegian funding is available as state equivalent. Decisions are taken by committees made up of national and regional representatives from all seven countries and the day-to-day running of the Programme is taken care of by the international staff at the Secretariat in Denmark.The Programme finances a wide range of projects concerned with regional development. Projects must include partners from at least three different countries within the cooperation area, two of which must be from an EU member state.
- Link to the website of INTERact, section: European Territorial Cooperation 2007-2013: http://www.interact-eu.net/etc/etc_2007_13/4/2
- Link to the website of the North Sea Region Programme: http://www.northsearegion.eu