Our European and macroregional framework

Cohesion policy

Interreg is part of the EU regional policy, the main investment priority of the European Union.

It targets all regions and cities in the European Union in order to support job creation, business competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and improve citizens’ quality of life. This is why we also call it the cohesion policy.

In order to reach these goals and address the diverse development needs in all EU regions, € 392 billion – almost a third of the total EU budget has been set aside for Cohesion Policy for 2021-2027 (source: ec.europa.eu). The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is the part of this budget used to invest in the social and economic development of all EU regions and cities. The ERDF aims to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. In 2021-2027, it will enable investments in a smarter, greener, more connected and more social Europe that is closer to its citizens.

The projects financed in the regions and cities contribute to many EU policy objectives, such as the European Green Deal. The EU Cohesion Policy helps EU countries, regions, local governments and cities to implement large investments that contribute to the European Green Deal. They must devote at least 30% of what they receive from the European Regional Development Fund to these priorities. In addition, 37% of the Cohesion Fund will contribute specifically to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP)

The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) is a macro-regional strategy for the Alpine area. Created in 2015, it is based on a joint initiative of seven Alpine states (Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and 48  regions. It aims at strengthening cooperation to address common challenges of the Alpine region in a more effective way.

The Interreg Alpine Space programme contributes to the goals of EUSALP.

For further information on EUSALP please check the EUSALP website: EUSALP | Homepage (alpine-region.eu)

The nine Action Groups summarised their policy recommendations in a policy brief, which addresses different political levels from local level up to European level. Read it here.

To find out more about macro-regional strategies, have a look at the Inforegio website: Macro-Regional Strategies – Regional Policy – European Commission (europa.eu)


Alpine organisations

The Alpine region has an old tradition of cooperation across borders, and a number of organisations are active at different levels to preserve its nature and culture or improve its public policies. The Interreg Alpine Space programme consults and cooperates with these organisations for the sustainable development of the Alps.

The Alpine Convention is an international treaty between Alpine countries and the EU for the protection of the Alpine natural environment. The Interreg Alpine Space programme is an observer to the Convention.

The International Commission for the Protection of the Alps (CIPRA) is a non-governmental organisation gathering 100 local and regional organisations in seven countries. CIPRA promotes sustainable development and works to protect the Alps. It promoted the creation of the Alpine Convention and is one of the official observer organisations of the Alpine Convention.

The Community Network Alliance in the Alps is an association of local authorities and regions from seven Alpine states. Based on the targets set by the Alpine Convention, its members and their citizens work for an preserved nature, a healthy economy and a good coexistence in the Alps.

The Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC) is an association of protected areas. Its aim is the concrete implementation of the article “Nature Conservation and Landscape Management” of the Alpine Convention.

The Alpine Town of the Year Association is an association of Alpine towns that have been awarded the title of “Alpine Town of the Year”. The title is awarded by an international Jury to an Alpine town for its particular commitment to the implementation of the Alpine Convention.

The Club Arc Alpin (CAA) is the umbrella organization of the major mountain sports associations in the Alpine arc. It represents their common interests in the fields of mountaineering, nature protection and alpine spatial planning on an international level, particularly in the organs of the Alpine Convention.

The International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps (ISCAR) promotes international cooperation in Alpine research. It is an official observer of the Alpine Convention and provides research and scientific expertise to its official bodies.

The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) is a macro-regional strategy for the Alpine area. It aims at strengthening cooperation to address common challenges of the Alpine region in a more effective way. For more information on the relationship between the EUSALP and the Interreg Alpine Space programme, visit this page [link].