Programme in short
What is the Alpine Space Programme?
The Alpine Space Programme is the EU transnational cooperation programme for the Alps. Partners from the seven Alpine countries work together to promote regional development in a sustainable way.
During the period 2007-2013, the programme is investing 130 Mio € in impact-oriented projects in which key actors develop shared solutions on specific Alpine issues as laid down in the programme objectives:
From INTERREG IIIB to European Territorial Cooperation
For the period 2007-2013, the Community Initiative INTERREG has been upgraded to the "European Territorial Cooperation Objective", which underlines the importance the European Commission and the Member States attach to the added value of transnational cooperation. This offers more visibility to the programme and its projects. The new programme is called "European Territorial Cooperation Alpine Space Programme 2007-2013". Together with 13 other programmes it strives for transnational cooperation in and between the European regions.
The priorities of the Alpine Space Programme 2007-2013 emphasise new thematic working fields: the programme will contribute to the achievements of the Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies. Clear contributions are expected to growth, employment and sustainable development with a strong focus on the cross cutting theme innovation.
The programme´s cooperation area remains unchanged: as in the last programming period, a transnational project has to have at least three partners from the participating regions of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovenia or Switzerland.
Concerning the budget and the co-funding rates, the programming period 2007-2013 brings some considerable changes: projects will be co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) up to a rate of 76%.
Background and history: European Cohesion Policy
The European Cohesion Policy aims at reducing the disparities between the regions in the European Union. The enlargement of the Union to 27 Members extended peace, stability, prosperity, democracy, human rights and the rule of law across Europe. Still it is a challenge to reach cohesion and competitiveness in all European regions. With the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Union supports territorial cooperation among Member States, their regions and cities by funding joint projects in specific areas.
Institutional cooperation in the Alps has a long history, first with the Working Communities and in the period 1997-1999 as a Joint Pilot Action Programme under the Art. 10 of the ERDF Regulation. For the period 2000-2006, the first transnational EU cooperation programme was launched for the Alps. During the INTERREG IIIB Alpine Space Programme the partner states and regions involved have been closely working together and have jointly strengthened knowledge transfer and exchange. The partners and regions have built up working partnerships that have developed into stable networks, witnessing the strong commitment of projects to fulfill the programme's major target of a common sustainable development strategy
The transnational cooperation within the programme continues in the Structural Fund period running from 2007 to 2013.
The policy is reviewed by the EU institutions and the Member States once every seven years before being implemented by Member States and regions. To read more about the future of the European Cohesion Policy and what will change from 2014 on, please click here.