Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 2 900 million

Official Journal Reference

C 180 of 1994-07-01
To assist both internal and external border areas of the European Union in overcoming the special development problems arising from their relative isolation within national economies and within the Union as a whole; to complete selected energy networks (already defined in the 1990-1993 REGEN initiative) and to link them to wider European networks; to promote the creation and development of networks of cooperation across internal borders and, where relevant, the linking of these networks to wider Community networks in the context of the Single Market; to assist the adjustment of external border areas to their new role as border areas of a single integrated market; to respond to new opportunities for cooperation with third countries in external border areas of the European Union.


INTERREG II is established to continue the activities to support the development of border regions started up under the first phase of the programme, 1990-1993. The programme is broken down into two distinct strands: cross-border cooperation and the completion of energy networks.

The first of these continues the activities started under INTERREG I, although certain modifications have been made in the context of the completion of the internal market. Under INTERREG II, all internal and external land borders are eligible for support on the basis of the flexibility now provided by the amended Structural Fund Regulations. The number of eligible maritime border regions has also been extended.

The second strand concerns the completion of the energy networks started under the REGEN programme, 1990-1993. Measures under the second strand aim at:

- Accelerating the creation of infrastructures for the reception and transmission of natural gas in peripheral regions where these do not exist at present;
- Accelerate the completion of Community-wide networks for the transmission and distribution of gas and, exceptionally, electricity, so as to ensure appropriate inter connections between peripheral regions of the Community and the rest of the Community.


Two strands:

- Cross-border cooperation:
Eligible measures include:
. Studies related to the development of plans treating border areas as an integrated geographical unit;
. Aids to investment and the provision of services and facilities to support and promote the development of SMEs and craft industries, in particular technology transfer and marketing support services;
. The provision of local water, gas and electricity supplies, as well as telecommunications, and the development of renewable energy resources;
. Pollution prevention and control, rational use of energy, waste disposal and environmental conservation programmes and the monitoring of new industries locating in border areas;
. Genetic improvement and animal and plant health measures designed to increase agricultural productivity and to facilitate cross-border trade;
. Rural development programmes to diversify farmers' incomes and for forestry, fishing and agricultural waste disposal;
. Measures to improve agricultural products and processes, to promote product diversification, to develop quality labels and trademarks;
. Measures to improve transport and other communications systems (including media services) within and between border areas by the creation or modernization of infrastructures;
. Measures to promote cooperation in the fields of education and culture, including the joint use of resources and facilities on a cross-border basis, and cooperation at higher education level between research centres, universities and vocational training;
. Training and employment measures particularly for the unemployed, for women and for people directly affected by changes in border-related activities arising from the establishment of the Single Market;
. Measures to promote cooperation in health, particularly the sharing of resources and facilities on a cross-border basis;
. Measures in the fields of energy, telecommunications and transport, aimed at complementing the development of the trans-European networks;

- Completion of energy networks:
Three eligible projects:
. Completion of reception facilities and transmission networks for the introduction of natural gas into certain parts of Portugal and Greece;
. Completion of the interconnection between the electricity networks of Italy and Greece;
. Establishment of interconnections between the gas transport systems of Portugal and Spain.


Operational programmes and projects supported under INTERREG 2 are jointly financed by the Community and the Member States. The total contribution from the Community's Structural Funds to INTERREG II is estimated at ECU 2,900 for the period 1994-1999. Loans from the resources of the European Investment Bank and the European Coal and Steel Community may also be made available. For those regions in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe which share borders with Member States of the Community, activities can be assisted from the resources of the PHARE programme.

Of the total Community resources allocated to the initiative, approximately ECU 2,400 is set aside for the first strand covering cross-border cooperation whilst the remaining ECU 500 million is reserved for the completion of energy networks. Community resources are to be mainly concentrated on Objective 1 regions: a full list of all eligible cross-border regions is contained in the annex to the notice launching the initiative.

The two strands of INTERREG are managed separately from each other.

For the cross-border cooperation strand, Member States wishing to benefit from INTERREG were required to submit detailed proposals for operational programmes, or amendments to an existing or proposed operational programme in application of a Community Support Framework, before 1 November 1994. A single proposal for an operational programme should be submitted by the Member States concerned for internal Community border regions. Requests for cross-border projects from neighbouring non-member countries under other Community programmes (e.g. PHARE) should be made on the basis of the relevant procedures.

As regards the strand dealing with the completion of energy networks, the Member States should submit detailed proposals for projects where the appropriate feasibility studies have been satisfactorily completed. For projects where feasibility studies have not yet been completed, Member States should submit proposals for Community assistance for any further studies required.


INTERREG 2 was established by a Decision of the European Commission, meeting on 15 June 1995, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations governing the Structural Funds.
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