30 years of Interreg bringing together communities, regions and neighbouring states
In 2020, the European Union marks 30 years of territorial cooperation both between Member States and between them and countries on the external borders.
European territorial cooperation, known at European level as Interreg, is a success story that has transformed the lives of a third of the entire population of the Union.
Following the EU's vision, since 1990, Interreg programmes have embarked on the mission of creating a culture of cooperation that transcends borders, by transforming the challenges and differences between different regions into special opportunities and resources, in order to develop together.
The Ministry of Public Works, Development and Administration (MPWDA) is the managing authority for 6 cross-border cooperation programmes (Romania-Serbia, Romania-Bulgaria, Romania-Hungary, Romania-Ukraine, Romania-Republic of Moldova, Black Sea Basin), through which it manages a total budget of over 787 million euro. The implementation of these programmes contributes to increasing development in the border regions of the participating states and beyond, but especially to improving political-economic and diplomatic relations.
Cooperation is carried out at all levels, between associations, private companies, local authorities, public institutions, educational institutions etc. and in all fields, such as environment, transport, tourism, education, religion etc. Since Romania's accession to the EU, in 2007, and until now, these 6 programmes have offered the inhabitants of these areas access to infrastructure and services, training and education opportunities, jobs, know-how transfer, innovation, intercultural exchanges through 153 completed projects and through 314 projects that are ongoing or in preparation.
At the same time, MPWDA manages, as a National Authority, another 6 European territorial cooperation programmes. The role of the National Authority is to ensure the support of the national interest at the programme level, to represent the programme at national level and to provide permanent support to national beneficiaries, in order to participate in projects, by organizing information events, technical meetings, granting the co-financing from the state budget. The implementation of these programmes contributes to supporting sustainable urban development, funding projects related to innovation, competitiveness, environmental protection and supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy. The projects cover diverse and complex areas, such as increasing connectivity and developing good governance in those eligible areas. Also, depending on the specificity of the territories, the projects aim for measures related to the capitalization of the cultural and natural heritage, increasing the accessibility to infrastructure and services linked to safety and security.
Thus, European territorial cooperation has an undeniable added value by creating bridges between European citizens, facilitating solutions to common problems, the exchange of ideas and capital and encouraging strategic efforts to achieve common goals. The 30 years of Interreg have shown that we can successfully cooperate across borders, linguistic, administrative, political, economic and social barriers, motivated by a common goal and common values. European territorial cooperation has never been more important than it is today. The period we are going through has once again shown to us the need to stay together, at the level of all Interreg programmes, in order to continue on the road to building and developing a common space of stability, security and progress.
The status of each programme is constantly updated and can be viewed at the following links: