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What do you know about the first Interreg 2022 calls?

Javier Lahuerta

Javier Lahuerta

Regions Knowledge Area Leader

The Interreg programme is the main transnational, interregional and cross-border cooperation programme of the ERDF fund. This programme focuses on regional development projects, with a strong focus on the exchange of best practices and support for legislative measures to promote policy reforms and cooperation between public administrations in different EU countries. It has a budget of 8 billion euros for all programmes.

The Interreg programme has been promoting cooperation between different European regions and supporting major cross-border cooperation projects for more than 30 years. It promotes a dialogue between different European public administrations to advance cooperation and structure a social dialogue to promote best practices, policies and responses of European regional and local governments to social and environmental problems.

Interreg calls for proposals

After more than a year’s delay, partly due to the Covid pandemic, more than 100 Interreg programmes have been launched at the beginning of 2022 with the presentation of their respective work programmes and their first calls for proposals. Since Interreg Europe, the main programme within the Interreg framework, presented its work plan at the beginning of January this year and its first calls for proposals, several sub-programmes have followed in its footsteps.

The main transnational cooperation programmes such as Interreg Europe, Interreg Med, Interreg Central, Interreg Alpine, Interreg North-West Interreg North Sea, and Interreg Baltic Sea have already submitted their work programmes and are starting to present their calls. Meanwhile, others such as Interreg Danube or Interreg Sudoe are still waiting.

On the other hand, cross-border cooperation programmes, which are those that tend to focus on cooperation between the regions of two or more countries that share a border and tend to be much more focused on the direct cooperation of public administrations, are behind schedule.

This is the case for programmes such as Interreg Atlantic, Interreg Poctefa, Interreg Poctep, Interreg France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen, Interreg Italy-Croatia, Interreg Italy-Greece, Interreg South Baltic, Interreg Grande Région, Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine, Interreg BAYERN-ÖSTERREICH, Interreg France-Suisse, and so on.

At present, most of the cross-border programmes and those transnational programmes that have not yet submitted their programmes are in the final consultation phase and in the final drafting of the work plan documents. We expect that after the summer of 2022 the vast majority of the 100 Interreg programmes will have submitted their work programmes and calls for proposals so that by 2023 the programme as a whole will be operational. The main opportunities currently open are:

Interreg Europe

The Interreg Europe programme will open its first call for the period 2021-2027 on 5 April and close on 31 May. This call has a budget of 130 million euros, an important part of the almost 400 million euros of the programme allocated until 2027. Interreg Europe is structured in five thematic areas:

  • Smarter Europe.
  • A greener Europe.
  • A more social Europe.
  • A Europe that is more connected between its citizens and regions.
  • A Europe closer to its citizens.

Interreg Europe projects will have a duration of four years and should be of European interregional cooperation to generate an exchange of knowledge and improvement of policy instruments and PPPs. In addition, they should bring together within the consortium different organisations from the four European regional areas, North, South, East and West. The latter includes France, and includes the whole of its territory.

Interreg Med

The transregional cooperation programme for the Mediterranean, Interreg Med, arrives in this new budget period with important novelties. With a budget of more than 110 million euros for the next 6 years, it presents its four main themes in the style of “Missions”, very focused on the sustainability of the Mediterranean area. These four “missions” are:

  • Sustainable and innovative economy.
  • Protection of natural and cultural resources.
  • Green areas.
  • More sustainable tourism.

These four thematic areas include projects that promote a better transfer of knowledge and the promotion of synergies (TCP) between the different stakeholders in the Mediterranean area or that generate greater coordination and governance, encouraging the cooperation of different public administrations (IDP).

Interreg North-West

This programme for cooperation with Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands is only available for the central and northern part of France. It will open its first call for proposals during March and will close at the end of May. With more than 300M€ for the period 2021-2027 it has the following thematic priorities; all of them have a strong focus on sustainability:

  • Priority 1: climate and environment.
  • Priority 2: energy transition.
  • Priority 3: circular economy.
  • Priority 4: innovation and resilience.
  • Priority 5: inclusive society.

Interreg Alpine

Interreg Alpine, a cooperation programme in the transalpine area including Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and France itself. This programme will close its first call for small projects on 22 April. This call for 5M€ has the same themes as the programme:

  • Priority 1: green and climate-resilient Alpine region.
  • Priority 2: carbon-neutral and resource-sensitive Alpine region.
  • Priority 3: innovation and digitisation in support of a green Alpine region.
  • Priority 4: cooperatively managed and developed Alpine region.

Characteristics of small scale projects:

  • Total budget: €250k to €750k.
  • Duration: 12 to 18 months.
  • Partnership: 3 to 6 partners.
  • Transnationality: at least 3 countries.

Interreg North Sea

Interreg North Sea is a programme to which the North Sea maritime regions of Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the Channel Sea regions of France, the Flemish regions of Belgium and all regions of the Netherlands are eligible to apply. This area totals 60 million people and more than 34,000 km of coastline. The 4 thematic priorities of this programme are:

  • Smarter economies, boosting and supporting R&D, advanced technologies and the development of tech skills and entrepreneurship.
  • A green and sustainable transition promoting renewable energies, sustainable mobility, circular economy and energy efficiency.
  • Climate resilient North sea, promoting climate change adaptation and risk prevention.
  • Better governance, promoting better cooperation between the public authorities falling within the eligible area.

This programme has a co-financing rate of 60% and the first call which closes on 22 April will have a budget of between 200k and 500k € for small scale projects and between 1 and 2M€ for normal projects.

Interreg Baltic Sea

Interreg Baltic Sea is a cooperation programme between all the regions bordering the Baltic Sea. This Interreg sub-programme has more than 250M€ for the period 2021-2027 and the following thematic priorities of this programme are:

  • Innovative societies: resilient economies and communities and responsive public services.
  • Water-smart societies: sustainable waters and blue economy.
  • Climate-neutral societies: circular economy, energy transition and smart green mobility.
  • Cooperation governance: project platforms and macro-regional governance.

The first call for Interreg Baltic Sea projects closes on 30 March for small projects up to 500.000€ and on 26 April for normal projects which have no budget limit and can present pilot actions within their framework.

We are at a good time to make a prospective of ideas and projects to start organising ourselves and look for synergies with other actors to prepare a good proposal. And as always, at Zabala Innovation we help you to make your proposal a success.




Expert person

Javier Lahuerta
Javier Lahuerta

Pamplona Office

Regions Knowledge Area Leader

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