The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) provides funding to public and private bodies in all EU regions to reduce economic, social and territorial disparities. The Fund supports investments through dedicated national or regional programmes.
In 2021-2027, the fund will enable investments to make Europe and its regions:
- more competitive and smarter, through innovation and support to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), as well as digitisation and digital connectivity
- greener, low-carbon and resilient
- more connected by enhancing mobility
- more social, supporting effective and inclusive employment, education, skills, social inclusion and equal access to healthcare, as well as enhancing the role of culture and sustainable tourism
- closer to citizens, supporting locally-led development and sustainable urban development across the EU
Interreg is the Union’s instrument to support cooperation across regions and countries: a new generation of Interreg programmes in and outside the EU will further develop joint services and strengthen solidarity. Interreg provides funding for projects between Member States, their outermost regions, the EU acceding countries and the neighbourhood countries. Therefore, in 2021-2027, Interreg will continue to support cross-border mobility, and efforts to develop environmental protection, emergency services, skilled jobs and access to public services for the next EU generation.
Interreg has an impact on citizens’ lives at different levels. It encompasses cross-border cooperation along all EU land and maritime borders; transnational cooperation, including macro-regional strategies and sea basins; and interregional cooperation, which builds networks and lets leading regions share their successes and experience with other territories.
In addition, Interreg projects beyond EU borders cover several areas in the world:
- Interreg NEXT, which involves Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood partner countries;
- Interreg Outermost Regions, which deepens relations between the EU’s remote regions and their neighbourhoods;
- Interreg IPA, which fosters cooperation of Member States with Western Balkan countries and Turkey and helps acceding countries to alleviate border obstacles and manage prorgammes in the same way as Member States are doing. Cooperation of this kind bolsters the countries’ capacities to improve people’s lives and builds trust with neighbouring territories.