Consultation process to draft the new Interreg programmes
When drafting the programmes of transnational cooperation (Interreg B) for the European funding period 2014-2020, the member states were required to involve relevant players in the preparation and implementation of the programmes. The aim of the project was to support the stakeholder dialogue for drafting the new transnational programmes in the context of the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) objective. Additionally, the process was to be supported by an extensive communication work.
Project duration: July 2012 - June 2015
The European Union invests in the sustainable development of cities and regions via its structural policy. The objective is to foster the cities' and regions' economy and infrastructure as well as the future social and ecological sustainability. For the new European funding period 2014-2020, the European Parliament, the European Commission, the German Federal Government and the federal states declared themselves in favour of continuing and strengthening the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC or Interreg). After the European Council and the European Parliament had adopted the Structural Funds regulations in December 2013 following lengthy negotiations, the member states had nine months to submit the future transnational cooperation programmes.
In the programming period 2014-2020, Germany participates in six programmes of transnational cooperation (Interreg B). Interreg B is one of the three strands of the ETC. The cooperation programmes, which have been drafted for the funding period 2014-2020, provide the legal basis for funding. They lay down the programme-specific objectives and strategies, the thematic priorities as well as the administrative and monitoring system on the basis of the regulations (General Regulation, ERDF regulation, ETC regulation) and of central European documents (especially the Europe 2020 Strategy). When preparing the cooperation programmes, the member states were required to involve local, regional and municipal authorities, business and social partners, non-governmental organisations as well as the civil society. During a transnational and national public consultation process, all players were asked to give their statement about the programme drafts. In Germany, a stakeholder dialogue was moreover organised in order to involve all players in the programming process at an early stage and to get to know their expectations and needs. This should guarantee an optimum formulation of the programmes.
Within the research project, the contractor accompanied the national stakeholder dialogue serving to draft the new Interreg programmes. The aim was to inform relevant players and target groups, (especially associations on the national level) about the new programmes, to involve them in the discussion and to get to know their expectations and needs.
In addition to the information and consultation activities of the federal states, the contractor addressed associations and organisations acting on the national level. This ensured the detailed presentation of thematic issues which are important for Germany. Structures and types of projects were discussed and Interreg's idea of spatial planning was highlighted. The contractor accompanied and summarized the consultation process on the federal state level. He compiled the proceedings in the six cooperation areas, documented them online and provided them to the people involved in the programming process. Exchange and coordination between the different programmes were promoted in this way and allowed to identify cross-sectoral issues.
The professional public was continuously informed about the cooperation and the status quo of the programmes with German participation. Above all the Interreg Journal and the www.interreg.de website served as sources of information. A national kick-off conference on 6th and 7th May 2014 in Berlin for all Interreg B programmes with German participation marked the beginning of the new programming period.
The research project was conducted by the Berlin-based German Association for Housing, Urban and Spatial Development.