Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) is a European Territorial Cooperation Programme funded by the European Commission with the ambition to make the North-West Europe area a key economic player and an attractive place to work and live, with high levels of innovation, sustainability and cohesion. It invests EUR 370 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in activities based on the cooperation of organisations from eight countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Like the other fourteen European transnational cooperation programmes, they encourage public, private, scientific and civil society organisations to cooperate in order to improve the economic, environmental, social and territorial development of Europe's regions.
Reducing disparities between regions
Interreg NWE is one of instruments to implement the European Cohesion Policy. Its purpose is to reduce disparities between the various regions in North-West Europe. The EU's most recent treaty, the Lisbon Treaty, adds another facet to cohesion, referring to ‘economic, social and territorial cohesion’. The idea is that cohesion policy should also promote more balanced, more sustainable ‘territorial development’.
In the 2014-2020 budgetary period, the links between cohesion policy and the other EU policies contributing to regional development are stronger, namely rural development and fisheries and maritime policy. More about Cohesion Policy
Transnational Cooperation as a method
They support cooperation across borders in a large European area: North-West Europe. For that, they fund projects involving partners from at least 3 different countries with a joint approach to tackle common issues. The aim is to reduce the disparities among regions and raise the overall level of performance across the whole area.
Innovation, Low carbon and Resource and materials efficiency
In the 2014-2020, they will focus on three thematic priorities, identified as key to achieve their ambition and to tackle the most pressing challenges of North-West Europe: Innovation, Low carbon and Resource and materials efficiency.