In order to improve cross-border economic cooperation, the second programme priority – which matches the objectives of European Territorial Cooperation – focuses on investing in social, cultural and territorial cohesion in the border area, in line with the EU 2020 “inclusive growth” priority. Since the start of INTERREG in the 1990s, much has improved in this respect. There are contacts across the border, and many people find it perfectly normal to travel between countries. Nevertheless, the Dutch-German border still represents an obstacle when it comes to achieving certain objectives, for example regarding innovation, SMEs and the low-carbon economy. The structures in the border area are insufficiently coherent for optimal development. For example, cross-border innovation and economic development will not be possible without an adequate mobility system. That is why many aims and priorities require action on mobility. What we need is for citizens and institutions to work together routinely and directly. That will remove the barrier created by the Dutch-German border and allow people on both sides to know and understand one another and to tackle common challenges together.
Priority 2 projects should lower the barrier effect caused by the border in the programme area and intensify cross-border interactions between citizens and institutions. Projects may contribute to these aims both in the psychological sense (for example by means of education and culture) and by involving citizens and institutions in specific cooperative activities (for example joint nature and landscape management or approaches to demographic changes). INTERREG programme funding will be regarded as a success if, at the end of the programme period:
Priority 2 projects are can roughly be divided into the following themes:
Lowering the barrier effect caused by the border should be central for each project.
Would you like to submit a project under priority 2? Use the “Project idea” form (only available in German or Dutch), which can be found in the downloads section. Once it has been submitted, you will have an opportunity to discuss your project ideas with the regional programme management staff in your region. Together with them, you can refine your idea and prepare for a formal application. You can find their contact details here.
Projects carried out within the framework of the INTERREG programme Deutschland-Nederland usually receive funding drawn from the following sources:
Small-scale, internationally oriented projects – for example cross-border school exchanges or sports events – are also eligible to apply for priority 2 funding. Special funding facilities have been made in the four border regions in order to ease the application process and enable projects to be carried out quickly. For more information, consult the section on small projects or contact the relevant border region (Ems Dollart Region, EUREGIO, Euregio Rhein-Waal, euregio rhein-maas-nord).