The INTERREG Experience in Bridging European Territories. A 30-Year Summary

  • Bernard Reitel
  • Birte Wassenberg
  • Jean Peyrony
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Since the introduction of the INTERREG programmes in 1990, the European Commission has closely associated border regions with the project of European Integration and especially to the accomplishment of the Single European Market. Since then, an increasing number of cross-border, interregional and transnational projects have been cofinanced by the European Union (EU) during the different INTERREG periods. However, it took until 2007 for INTERREG to be incorporated as an objective of the EU’s regional and cohesion policy, under the term: “European Territorial Cooperation” (ETC). ETC has been associated first with a European Space Planning Policy and, since the 2000s with the objective to increase the EU’s economic position in a globalised world. Increasingly, ETC has been enlarged, intensified and become more complex, covering an ever larger territory following the EU enlargement and being associated with ever larger budgetary resources from the European Commission. Despite its obvious success, when taking into account the recent European crises, it seems essential for future ETC to build on coordination between stakeholders at all levels (local, regional, national, European) and for the European Commission to take into account not only economic criteria of wealth, but also the social and humanitarian surplus values of the programmes.


European territorial cooperation INTERREG Cross-Border cooperation European construction EU borders 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Reitel
    • 1
  • Birte Wassenberg
    • 2
  • Jean Peyrony
    • 3
  1. 1.University of ArtoisArrasFrance
  2. 2.Institute for Political Studies (IEP)University of StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Mission Opérationnelle TransfrontalièreParisFrance

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