Interreg in a nutshell

Interreg is a key funding instrument to foster cooperation and cohesion in the European Union. The programme was first set up in 1990 to fund cross-border cooperation in the border regions between countries.

From disasters to fruitful cooperation

In 1993 and 1995, two flooding disasters in the Rhine-Meuse catchment areas made 50,000 people homeless. This tragedy showed that there is a need for transboundary cooperation in larger geographic regions, to tackle shared challenges. This led to the formation of the first Interreg transnational cooperation programmes. 

The North Sea Region Programme was founded in 1997. Today, there are 15 transnational Interreg programmes including three in overseas territories, tackling a wide range of pressing issues, from supporting the digital transformation to protecting ecosystems and reducing climate impacts.

The ABC of Interreg

Interreg is divided into three strands - A, B and C. The North Sea Region Programme belongs to the B strand. 

A: Cross-border cooperation
The 177 cross-border programmes support cooperation in border regions between at least two Member States.

B: Transnational cooperation
The 15 transnational programmes also support cooperation across borders, but in larger areas. These include 12 regions in Europe and 3 overseas territories. The Interreg North Sea Region Programme belongs to this strand.

C: Interregional cooperation
The 15 interregional Interreg programmes work at pan-European level, covering all EU Member States.