"Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE envisions a united central Europe that cooperates to become smarter, greener and better connected together. Based on shared needs and a common identity, the programme aims for a trustful culture of cooperation beyond borders."


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FOR THE FIRST CALL

IN OCTOBER 2021

To achieve the above vision, we will soon launch a new call for transnational project proposals. This first call of the new programme will be directed at public and private organisations that want to work together beyond borders. Our funding will support them to cooperate on solutions for common challenges of central European regions and cities that know no borders.

The call is expected to officially launch in October 2021. Concrete technical information and requirements for project development, including the programme manual and the application form, will become available only then. Depending on the amount of applications received, the funding decision is currently expected for autumn 2022 and successful projects could start their activities soon after.

In the meantime, we will support interested organisations in developing transnational project ideas and finding partners across central Europe. We are providing basic information and have launched a brand new community for applicants to develop transnational partnerships.

Call Basics

0

priorities

0

specific
objectives

1

step
Procedure

2021

Call launch
planned in October

CALL BUDGET

80%

ERDF co-financing
for all partners

72

million ERDF
indicative budget


THEMATIC FOCUS OF THE FIRST CALL

The call will be open in all programme priorities and all specific objectives. Transnational cooperation actions are expected to address the development and implementation of strategies, action plans, tools, training, pilot actions and related solutions. All actions will have to respect environmental sustainability principles and also horizontal principles of equality and non-discrimination.

Funding priority 1

Cooperating for a smarter central europe

In this priority we fund projects that enhance innovation capacities and encourage the uptake of advanced technologies. But also those that build capacities for smart specialisation, industrial transition and entrepreneurship. The indicative budget for this priority in the call is EUR 22 million.

Learn more

FUNDING PRIORITY 2

Cooperating for a greener central europe

In this priority we fund projects that address environmental challenges in central Europe and help increasing energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. But also those that encourage sustainable urban mobility. The indicative budget for this priority in the call is EUR 36 million.       

Learn more

FUNDING PRIORITY 3

cooperating for a better connected central europe

In this priority we fund projects that improve transport connections of rural and peripheral regions in central Europe and enhance sustainable, intelligent and intermodal transport, including connections to TEN-T corridors. The indicative budget for this priority in the call is EUR 7 million.  

Learn more

FUNDING PRIORITY 4

Improving governance for cooperation in central Europe

In this priority we fund projects that improve capacities of public authorities on all territorial levels for setting up and implementing integrated territorial development strategies through cooperation. The indicative budget for this priority in the call is EUR 7 million.                           

Learn more


SUPPORT MEASURES FOR APPLICANTS

At this stage, the support measures listed below are available to interested organisations.
For regular updates, you can subscribe to our programme newsletter or follow us on social media.

Applicant Community

Community

Our brand new applicant community will bring together organisations from across central Europe. It facilitates project partner search and presents already existing ideas. If you have an idea or simply want to work on an already existing idea, this is the best place to start your cooperation.

Join community


Explainers and webinars

Tutorials

If you quickly want to get familiar with what we fund, have a look at our explainers! Before spending time reading the whole strategy document, these short videos will introduce you to the various funding priorities and concrete actions that new projects are expected to address.

Watch explainers


FAQs and helpdesk

Helpdesk

In the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) you will find answers to many questions we receive regarding our funding. If you cannot find an answer to your question there, do not hesitate to contact our permanent helpdesk. We are there to help you and to support you along the way.

Contact us


National support

Map

You can also reach out to our national contact points (NCP) in all programme countries. They will offer support regarding the call, and provide you with information in national languages on primarily national application issues. Look out for their information days as of autumn!

Get support


Call-Related Documents



WHAT IS TRANSNATIONAL COOPERATION?

Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE is a transnational cooperation programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the European territorial cooperation goal of cohesion policy. Our programme encourages highly integrated partnerships that span and represent different levels of government and administration, embracing both public and private-sector bodies and different policy areas. Through these partnerships, transnational cooperation projects are able to develop, prepare and implement joint solutions to common problems and challenges.

When forming an Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE project partnership, the following minimum requirements have to be met:
- At least three financing partners;
- From at least three countries;
- With at least two of the partners located in the programme area.
Furthermore, the lead partner has to be located in the programme area (see also FAQs below).

The following institutions can participate in our transnational project partnerships:
- National, regional and local public bodies (including EGTCs);
- Private institutions, including private companies, having legal personality;
- International organisations acting under the national law of any programme Member State or, with restrictions, under international law.

The participation of partners from outside the programme area (see below) is only allowed if it brings clear benefits to central European regions. ERDF co-funding can be granted to partners in EU Member States outside the programme area upon conditions. Partners from outside the EU can participate in projects as observers but cannot receive ERDF co-funding.

Programme area 2021-27

PROGRAMME AREA AND CHALLENGES

The Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE programme area covers regions and cities from nine EU Member States: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. In the new programme, the area was enlarged by Braunschweig in Germany. Find a list of all participating regions here.

With an area of more than one million square km, the programme affects the lives of 148 million people, which share a common history and cultural identity. The territory is characterised by structural differences between regions with growing urban and industrialised areas and rural or peripheral areas often characterised by lower competitiveness and shrinking populations.

The programme territory runs along large parts of the former Iron Curtain covering regions with significant differences in their socioeconomic history. The area is an important cross-junction for European connections beyond its own borders. As a consequence, many trade and transport routes cross the area on transnational rivers, streets and railroads. This makes central Europe a hub for socio-economically relevant corridors.

Learn more about common challenges in central Europe


Frequently asked questions


This list of FAQs is regularly updated based on requests received through the helpdesk.

Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE is a funding programme of the EU Cohesion Policy objective “European Territorial Cooperation”. In the 2021-27 period the programme will co-finance transnational projects that cooperate towards a smarter, greener, better connected and better integrated central Europe. Funds come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The programme covers an area of more than one million square kilometres at the heart of Europe, and is home to roughly a third of the EU population  (about 148 million of inhabitants in 2019).

Nine EU member states cooperate in the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme, including all regions from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, eight Länder and one region from Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thüringen, and the Braunschweig region within Niedersachsen), and nine regions from Italy (Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Lombardia, Piemonte, the autonomous provinces of Bolzano/Bozen and Trento, Valle d’Aosta, and Veneto).

In total the programme area is made up of 81 NUTS-2 regions and in the 2021-27 period it is extended by Braunschweig region in Germany.

The programme vision is a united central Europe that cooperates - to become smarter, greener and better connected together. Based on shared needs and a common identity in an area long divided by the “Iron Curtain”, the programme aims for a trustful culture of cooperation beyond administrative borders.

The programme mission is to bring regions and cities together beyond borders to find fitting solutions for their citizens – in a fair and equal way everywhere. It encourages and supports transnational cooperation to make regions more resilient to common challenges that know no borders and which cannot be solved alone. These challenges include among others economic transition processes, climate change, and the long-term socioeconomic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The foreseen programme budget for 2021-27 is EUR 224,6 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The maximum ERDF co-financing will amount to 80% for project partners from all participating countries.

For partners from EU Member States that are not part of the programme area the maximum ERDF co-financing will also amount to 80% but has to be duly justified. Partners from outside the EU can participate as observers but cannot receive ERDF co-financing.

The main decision-making body of the programme is the Monitoring Committee (MC), which is composed of representatives of the nine central European programme countries. The Department for European Affairs of the City of Vienna is the Managing Authority (MA) and thus responsible for the operational management of the programme. It is supported by the Joint Secretariat (JS), an international bureau also located in Vienna, and by the Network of National Contact Points (NCPs) in the Member States.

On the transnational level, the Joint Secretariat (JS) offers a permanent helpdesk that can be reached during office hours by phone +43 (0) 1 8908 088 2403 and at helpdesk(at)interreg-central.eu.

On the national level, general guidance is provided by the network of National Contact Points (NCPs). It functions as a first point of contact for applicants seeking individual guidance.

Further information on the new  Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme 2021-27 can be found on our website.

A transnational project brings together partners from at least three different countries to cooperate and find solutions for common challenges of the programme region. On average, partners work together in our transnational projects for around 3 years with a total budget between 1 and 2 million EUR.

Transnational cooperation actions are expected to address the development and implementation of strategies, action plans, tools, training, and pilot actions. To find out more about transnational cooperation projects, you are invited to browse the result page of the 2014-20 programme.

When forming a project partnership, the following minimum requirements have to be met:

  • At least three financing partners;
  • From at least three countries;
  • With at least two of the partners located in the programme area.

Furthermore, the lead partner shall be located in the programme area.

Partnerships can, however, also be larger than required at minimum (around 11 or even more partners).

The following institutions can participate in transnational project partnerships:

  • National, regional and local public bodies (including EGTCs);
  • Private institutions, including private companies, having legal personality;
  • International organisations acting under the national law of any Member State participating in the programme or, with restrictions, under international law.

The participation of partners located outside the programme area in Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE projects is allowed only if it brings clear benefits to central European regions. Funds can be granted to partners in EU Member States outside the programme area upon conditions. Partners from outside the EU can participate as observers but cannot receive ERDF co-financing.

The “lead partner principle” means that each partnership appoints one organisation to act as lead partner. The lead partner takes full financial and legal responsibility for the implementation of the entire project.

The following institutions can act as lead partners if located in the programme area:

  • Public bodies;
  • Private institutions;
  • International organisations acting under national law.

Each project can target only one programme priority and within the priority only one programme specific objective.

The types of results achieved by transnational projects can be classified as follows:

  • Improved policy development, learning, and change;
  • Increased knowledge and capacity, including the knowledge transfer and exchange;
  • Better coordinated cooperation and enhanced governance at different levels;
  • Reduced barriers;
  • New or better services;
  • Behavioural change;
  • Leverage of public and private funds, including the preparation for follow-up investments.

For more information regarding the expected results for each specific objective (SO), please consult the relevant section of the IP - Chapter 2.

To find out more about the results achieved in the previous programme, you are invited to browse our results page.

Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE has pre-defined the following categories of project outputs, which focus on policy support and implementation activities:

  • Strategies and action plans jointly developed
  • Pilot actions developed jointly and implemented in projects;
  • Tolls and training;
  • Jointly developed solutions.

More specific information on supported actions for each Specific Objective (SO) and related thematic fields and examples of actions can be consulted in the IP document - Section 2. The programme supports pilot investments as part of pilot actions and projects can contribute to the preparation of large scale investments.

Transnational cooperation actions will have to respect the horizontal principles of equal opportunity, non-discrimination, gender equality and environmental sustainability during project design and implementation. In particular, all actions financed by the programme will follow an "environmental sustainability by design approach". This means that partnerships are strongly encouraged to identify and consider any potentially significant environmental and health issues during project design and integrate them from the beginning into all activities.

With this call, the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme aims to bring regions and cities together beyond borders to find fitting solutions for their citizens – in a fair and equal way everywhere. Our funding encourages and supports transnational cooperation to make regions more resilient to common challenges that know no borders and which cannot be solved alone.

The call timeline is organised in two phases.

  • Call preview: Since 24 June 2021, we provide thematic information and a community matchmaking platform for applicants to exchange on ideas and develop partnerships.

  • Call opening: The call will officially open in a one-step procedure in October 2021. More concrete technical information and requirements for project development will become available with the official launch. Only in this call phase project proposals can be submitted (not before).


The call is currently expected to close by the end of 2021 or at the beginning of 2022 depending on when the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme will be adopted by the European Commission.

In the call preview phase between June and October 2021, the main reference source is the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme 2021-27 draft document (IP). The IP provides applicants with information regarding transnational challenges, funding priorities, specific funding objectives and much more.

More call-related documents, including the Programme Manual and the Application Form, will be published in October 2021 with the official launch of the call.

Applications can only be submitted through the newly developed "Joint electronic monitoring system" (Jems). Registration to the system and submission of project proposals will be possible with the official launch of the call in autumn.

The call will be open in all programme priorities and specific objectives (SOs).

Around EUR 72 million ERDF will be indicatively earmarked for the first call for proposals. The indicative amounts allocated to each priority in the first call will be:

  • Priority 1: EUR 22 million 
  • Priority 2: EUR 36 million
  • Priority 3: EUR 7 million
  • Priority 4: Eur 7 million 

The funding decision is expected for autumn 2022. However, this depends amongst others on the number of applications received.

Successful projects are expected to start with their activities still in 2022.

When searching for information, applicants are recommended to consult the programme website, where they can find all relevant call information, including documents and templates.

Additional applicant information and training is primarily offered online. Since June, explainer videos introduce the new thematic priorities and specific objectives (SOs) to potential applicants. These will be followed up in autumn by live webinars with open Q&A sessions. More information on these support measures will be published on the programme website and in the programme newsletter in due time. 

In addition, an English-language helpdesk team can be reached during office hours at +43 (1) 8908088 2403 and at helpdesk(at)interreg-central.eu. Furthermore, you are invited to browse our regularly updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

For inquiries on the national level, the network of National Contact Points provides support in national languages.

The Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Applicant Community has been newly developed to facilitate transnational matchmaking. This community brings together organisations from all over central Europe and aims to facilitate partner search and project idea generation. It helps applicants to effectively present project ideas and build project partnerships.

Organisations interested in joining an existing partnership can register with the platform and search project ideas created by other organisations in the "Browse ideas" section. This section gives an overview of public project ideas and the type of partners that are still needed to build a successful partnership. Once you find a project idea which could benefit from your competences, you can contact its holder directly on the platform and exchange bilaterally on a potential cooperation and joint project development.

For further information please see the community section "How to become a partner".

The Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Applicant Community has been newly developed to facilitate transnational matchmaking. This community brings together organisations from all over central Europe and facilitate partner search and project idea generation. It helps applicants to effectively present project ideas and build project partnerships.

Organisations looking for partners to join their project idea can register with the platform and submit their project idea in the "Browse ideas" section. In order to find suitable partners from a specific field of expertise or country, you can also browse organisation profiles in the section "Find partners" and get in touch directly on the platform.

For further information please see our community section "How to find a partner".

After the official call opening in October, lead applicants with a project idea in an advanced stage can request individual consultations with the JS team. The aim of these consultations is to advise lead applicants on the relevance of their project ideas and to clarify technical questions. Individual consultations will take place as virtual meetings. 

More information will follow with the official call launch.

The network of National Contact Points (NCPs) provides support in national languages on primarily national application issues.

On the transnational level, English-language inquiries are answered by an experienced helpdesk team that can be reached by phone +43 (0) 1 8908 088 2403 or at info(at)interreg-central.eu

The Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme is a funding programme of the EU Cohesion Policy objective “European Territorial Cooperation”. It co-finances cooperation projects that strengthen regional innovation, promote low-carbon strategies, protect and sustainably utilise natural and cultural resources and improve sustainable transport. Funds come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Covering an area of over one million square kilometres, Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE is home to around 146 million people. Nine EU Member States cooperate in the programme, including all regions from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as eight Länder from Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, and Thüringen) and nine regions from Italy (Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Lombardia, Piemonte, Provincia Autonoma Bolzano, Provincia Autonoma Trento, Valle d’Aosta, and Veneto).

The main decision-making body of the programme is the monitoring committee, which is composed of representatives of the nine central European programme countries. The Department for EU Strategy and Economic Development of the City of Vienna is the managing authority and thus responsible for the operational management of the programme. It is supported by the joint secretariat, an international bureau which is also located in Vienna, and by the network of national contact points in the Member States.

Please consult the contacts section for more details.

Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE’s main objective is to cooperate beyond borders in central Europe to make our cities and regions better places to live and work. Put more precisely, transnational cooperation should become the catalyst for implementing smart solutions that answer to regional challenges in the fields of innovation, low-carbon economy, environment, culture and transport.  

The programme will build regional capacities following an integrated bottom-up approach involving and coordinating relevant actors from all governance levels. In doing so, it will coordinate with other efforts in the regions including national and regional programmes, macro-regional strategies, the Horizon 2020 programme, the LIFE programme or the European Investment Bank.

The total programme budget is 246 million Euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 231 million Euros out of this are available for financing transnational cooperation projects.

Maximum ERDF co-financing

  80%    
     85%  80%

   No co-financing

Member State

Austria

Germany

Italy

Croatia

Czech Republic

Hungary

Poland

Slovakia

Slovenia

Other EU         
countries
Outside the EU

Outputs and solutions developed by our projects are stored in our output library where they can be browsed by priority and output type.

More information about the projects funded in the period 2014-20 and their achievements can be found in our projects page.

On national levels, general guidance is provided by the network of national contact points. It functions as a first point of contact for applicants seeking individual guidance.

On transnational level, the joint secretariat offers individual consultations on project ideas and partnerships in both steps of the application procedure.


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