Other international cooperation programmes

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)

The European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) supports the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Operational since 1 January 2007, it represents the strategic continuity with enlarged objectives of the former cooperation programmes TACIS (for the Eastern European countries) and MEDA (for the Mediterranean countries).


What does it cover? The ENPI’s beneficiary countries are the ENP partner countries and Russia.


The ENPI has the following strategic objectives:

  • supporting democratic transition and promoting human rights,
  • the transition towards the market economy,
  • the promotion of sustainable development; and policies of common interests (antiterrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, conflict resolution, the rule of international law, etc.).


Within this framework, the Commission and partner countries established four principal axes of co-operation based on:

  • the implementation of a strengthened dialogue on priority multisector reforms,
  • the approximation of legislation,
  • institutional support,
  • the objectives of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.


The ENPI finances actions in various sectors, including: more equitable development; trade regulation and reforms; the liberalisation of certain sectors; justice and home affairs; energy; transport; society information; environmental sustainability; research and innovation. In addition, it can provide support to electoral observation and post-crisis missions and to disaster preparedness.


The ENPI has a financial envelope of €11.2 billion for the period 2007-2013, which represents an increase of 32%, in real terms, compared with the amount available over the period 2000-2006 for the MEDA and TACIS programmes. This budget is allocated as follows:

  • 95% for national and multi-country programmes,
  • 5% for cross-border cooperation programmes.


The funds allocation is policy driven, and depends on the needs and absorption capacity of the beneficiary countries as well as on their implementation of agreed reforms.


Programmes implemented in the field follow a specific programming process based on:

  • multiannual programming papers (for national, multi-country and cross-border strategies) and multiannual indicative programmes,
  • annual action programmes and joint programmes for cross-border cooperation.


The actions can be co-funded by the EU and other donors; they can also be funded by the EU and implemented by an international organisation.

More info: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/how/finance/enpi_en.htm


Life+ Programme

The LIFE programme is the EU’s funding instrument for the environment. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value.
LIFE began in 1992 and to date there have been three complete phases of the programme (LIFE I: 1992-1995, LIFE II: 1996-1999 and LIFE III: 2000-2006). During this period, LIFE has co-financed 3104 projects across the EU, contributing approximately €2.2 billion to the protection of the environment.

Further info: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/about/#lifeplus




INTERREG IVC provides funding for interregional cooperation across Europe. It is implemented under the European Community’s territorial co-operation objective and financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This programme was designed to run from 2007 to 2013 and is considered to be the continuer of the INTERREG IIIC Programme (which took place from 2002 to 2006).

The overall objective of the INTERREG IVC Programme is to improve the effectiveness of regional policies and instruments. A project builds on the exchange of experiences among partners who are ideally responsible for the development of their local and regional policies.

The areas of support are innovation and the knowledge economy, environment and risk prevention. Thus, the Programme aims to contribute to the economic modernisation and competitiveness of Europe. INTERREG IVC is linked to the objectives of Lisbon and Gothenburg agendas.

Typical tools for exchange of experience are networking activities such as thematic workshops, seminars, conferences, surveys, and study visits. Project partners cooperate to identify and transfer good practices. Possible project outcomes include, for example, case study collections, policy recommendations, strategic guidelines or action plans. INTERREG IVC also allows light implementation or piloting, but only if these complement the exchange of experience activities.

The Programme supports two types of projects: Regional Initiative Projects and Capitalisation Projects.

In Regional Initiative Projects partners work together to exchange experiences in a policy field of their interest. They can choose between three levels of intensity for their cooperation. These vary from simple networking to the development of policy instruments or the establishment of mini-programmes.

In Capitalisation Projects partners build on already identified good practices. Capitalisation projects are set up to transfer these good practices into mainstream Programmes of EU Structural Funds. This is done by developing action plans and involving relevant policy makers. The European Commission offers additional expertise to some of these projects, named Fast Tract Projects.


South East Europe (EEE)


The South East Europe Programme aims to develop transnational partnerships on matters of strategic importance, in order to improve the territorial, economic and social integration process and to contribute to cohesion, stability and competitiveness of the region. For this purpose, the Programme seeks to realize high quality, result oriented projects of strategic character, relevant for the programme area.
The South East Europe Programme helps to promote better integration between the Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries and neighbouring countries.

Programme objectives:

  • Global Objective

The programme's global objective is to improve the territorial, economic and social integration process in South East Europe and contribute to cohesion, stability and competitiveness of the area through the development of transnational partnerships and joint action on matters of strategic importance, even amongst non-member countries.

  • Specific Objectives

The global objective of the programme is supported by the following specific objectives:
1. The programme shall facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge economy and information society by concrete co-operation action and visible results.
2. The programme shall improve the attractiveness of regions and cities taking into account sustainable development, physical and knowledge accessibility and environmental quality by integrated approaches and concrete cooperation action and visible results.
3. The programme shall foster integration by supporting balanced capacities for transnational territorial cooperation at all levels.

Further info: http://www.southeast-europe.net/en/

Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)


The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) bundles all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof and aims for the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment. The broad objectives of FP7 have been grouped into four categories: Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities. For each type of objective, there is a specific programme corresponding to the main areas of EU research policy. All specific programmes work together to promote and encourage the creation of European poles of (scientific) excellence. The non-nuclear research activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC) are grouped under a specific programme with individual budget allocation.

Further info: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/info-programmes_en.html

ALCOTRA (2007-2013)

The program of cross-border cooperation between France and Italy is called "ALCOTRA", concerning the period of 2007-2013. The program has a budget of approximately 237.5 million euros.

The program covers the entire Alpine border between the two countries. It aims to improve the quality of people's lives and to achieve a sustainable development of cross-border economic and territorial systems through cooperation in the fields of social, economic, environment and culture.

Alcotra 2007-2013 is the fourth cross-border cooperation program deployed along the borders between Italy and France. In previous programming, 561 projects were funded: 141 in the period 1991-1993 for a total of about 61 million euro, 268 in the period 1994-1999 for a total of about 159 million euros and 152 in the period 2000 - 2006 for a total of approximately 161 million euro.

In this program, simple cooperation cross-border projects were added in the plans, aiming to increase the quality and degree of intensity of cooperation.

Further info: http://www.interreg-alcotra.org/2007-2013/?pg=presentazione (in French)


SUDOE : Territorial Cooperation Programme (2007-2013)

The Territorial Cooperation Program for the European Southeast Space (SUDOE) is a program focused on the regional development through the co-financing of transnational projects by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).

Public actors and non-profit organizations from the Spanish, French, Portuguese and British (Gibraltar) regions can contribute to the growth and sustainable development of the Southwest Europe area developing transnational cooperation projects on topics like innovation, environment, new information technologies and sustainable urban development. Working together, these regional actors contribute to allow Southeast Europe to reach the European Union’s strategies for growth, employment and sustainable development. Transnational cooperation began in Europe with the Southwest Area Community Initiative INTERREG III B SUDOE. Located within the context of regional policy, the European Territorial Cooperation Program INTERREG IV B SUDOE is the direct successor of the INTERREG III B SUDOE.

This new generation of SUDOE program was developed by four Member States (Spain, France, Portugal and Gibraltar from the UK) and, therefore, become a part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective co-financed by the Structural Funds for the period 2007 – 2013.

The Operational Program for Territorial Cooperation Objective of the European Southeast Area (OP SUDOE) 2007-2013 is the reference document that establishes, among others, the existing potential areas of cooperation and co-financing that can be assigned to potential beneficiaries.

After developing an analysis of the European Southwest about demography, socioeconomic and environmental characteristics, etc., the main objective to develop a strategy that values their strengths and correct their weaknesses is to consolidate the European Southeast as an area of territorial cooperation in the fields of competitiveness and innovation, environment, sustainable development and spatial planning, helping to ensure a harmonious and balanced integration of their regions, within the objectives of economic and social cohesion of the EU.

Further info: http://interreg-sudoe.eu/FRA (in French)

ESPON 2013 Programme

The ESPON 2013 Programme, the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion, was adopted by the European Commission on 7 November 2007.

The programme budget of 47 million euros is part-financed at the level of 75 % by the European Regional Development Fund under Objective 3 for European Territorial Cooperation. The rest is financed by 31 countries participating, 27 EU Member States and Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

The mission of the ESPON 2013 Programme is to:
“Support policy development in relation to the aim of territorial cohesion and a harmonious development of the European territory by (1) providing comparable information, evidence, analyses and scenarios on territorial dynamics and (2) revealing territorial capital and potentials for development of regions and larger territories contributing to European competitiveness, territorial cooperation and a sustainable and balanced development”.

The actions carried through under the programme include different, however strongly interrelated operations:

  1. Applied research on different themes of European territorial dynamics is the core business, providing scientifically solid facts and evidence at the level of regions and cities. These results make it possible to assess strength and weaknesses of individual regions and cities in the European context. The applied research is conducted by transnational groups of researchers and experts.
  2. Targeted Analyses together with stakeholders is an important project type that makes use of ESPON results in practice. Stakeholders express their interest and ESPON provides a team of experts that carries through the analysis in close collaboration. Stakeholders then make use of the European perspective in results in policy considerations for their territorial context, in strategy development or other activities, that benefits development.
  3. Scientific Platform development is supported by an ESPON Database project and actions dealing with territorial indicators and monitoring as well as tools related to territorial analyses, typologies, modelling and updates of statistics.
  4. Capitalisation of ESPON results that includes media activities and different ESPON publications. Events such as ESPON Seminars and Workshops are regularly organised and a transnational effort in the capitalisation is ensured by a network of national ESPON Contact Points.
  5. Technical Assistance, Analytical Support and Communication ensure the sound management of the programme and the ability of processing scientific output towards the policy level.

ESPON uses an open competitive process in the selection of partners for projects. Calls are launched regularly.

Further info: http://www.espon.eu/main/Menu_Calls/Menu_Calls/

Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme (2007-2013)

The Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme 2007-2013 (hereafter Black Sea JOP) is a programme under the European Neighborhood & Partnership Instrument (ENPI) of the EU. It aims to contribute to: “a stronger and sustainable economic and social development of the regions of the Black Sea Basin”.

The programme's three specific objectives, are:

  •     Promoting economic and social development in the border areas
  •     Working together to address common challenges
  •     Promoting local, people-to-people cooperation

All specificities of the programme, such as which are the eligibility areas, who can apply, what are the foreseen priorities and measures of the programme, information regarding the awarded joint actions under implementation as well as all programme documents and identifying potential partners can be found here: http://www.blacksea-cbc.net/index.php/eng/


Alpine Space Programme

The Alpine Space Programme is the EU transnational cooperation programme for the Alps. Partners from the seven Alpine countries work together to promote regional development in a sustainable way.

During the period 2007-2013, the programme is investing 130 million euros in impact-oriented projects (http://www.alpine-space.eu/projects/projects/#c866) in which key actors develop shared solutions on specific Alpine issues as laid down in the programme objectives.

Objectives and strategies
The Alpine Space Programme 2007-2013 aims to increase competitiveness and attractiveness of the cooperation area by developing joint actions in fields where transnational cooperation is required for sustainable solutions. Derived from this overall objective specific objectives have been defined:

  • to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and strengthen research and innovation capacities for SMEs;
  • to enhance a balanced territorial development to make the Alpine Space an attractive place to live, work and invest;
  • to improve accessibility of the Alpine Space and to manage economical and environmental consequences of transport systems;
  • to improve accessibility to services and connectivity within the Alpine Space;
  • to protect, manage and enhance natural and cultural assets for sustainable development;
  • to prevent and mitigate natural and technological hazards and manage their consequences, with specific regard to climate change impacts.

More info: http://www.alpine-space.eu/home/

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