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European Cooperation Day: Sharing borders, growing closer
Celebrating the achievements of European regions and countries working
together across borders.
European Co operation Day which for the first time will be marked on
the same day across Europe, both in EU member states and neighbouring countries.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Brussels to launch more than
200 events in 40 countries, the EU's Commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes
"Territorial cooperation projects help build trust. They foster mutual
They are essential ingredients of European integration. They bring
communities together – this is the European Union in action".
European Territorial Cooperation is an increasingly important theme in
EU Regional Policy.
Regions and cities from different EU Member States are encouraged to
work together and learn from each other through joint programmes, projects and
Citizens living outside the EU's external borders are also benefiting
from a policy whose goal is to help tackle the issues of border regions by
promoting better networks and common action.
Among the showcased projects highlighted on European Cooperation Day -
officially marked on September 21 - is HEALTH, an Austro-Hungarian-Slovenian
initiative that aims to improve energy and resource efficiency in the health
Partners from Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Austrian regions in the
Edtwin project are also creating school-based partnerships and internships in
the neighbouring regions, as well as language courses for children in the
Central European region.
European Territorial Cooperation covers three types of programmes:
cross-border co-operation programmes along internal EU borders. ERDF
transnational co-operation programmes cover larger areas of
co-operation such as the Baltic Sea, Alpine and Mediterranean regions. ERDF
contribution: €1.8 billion.
the interregional co-operation programme (INTERREG IVC) and 3
networking programmes (Urbact II, INTERACT II and ESPON) cover all 27 Member
States of the EU.
They provide a framework for exchanging experience between regional and
local bodies in different countries. ERDF contribution: €445 million.
Since the beginning of the 1990s, around 30,000 cross border projects
have received investment from the EU.They have delivered huge benefits to people
living in Europe:
from creating jobs to protecting the environment to improving health
care services, transport and energy.
The results of a study into the INTERREG III initiative (2000-2006)
showed projects directly or indirectly creating or safeguarding 115,000
jobs/employment opportunities and nearly 5,800 start-ups and businesses.
The initiative is coordinated by the INTERACT programme in association
with the European Commission (DG REGIO, EuropeAid and European External Action
Service), and supported by the Committee of the Regions and the European