The European Commission is to provide a further amount of assistance, under the INTERREG II programme, for cross-border cooperation in the region where the borders of Austria, Germany and Switzerland meet around Lake Constance (Bodensee). Taking into account the accession of Austria to the European Union, the Commission has just approved an additional ECU 3.69 million. This brings the total volume of the INTERREG II programme "Alpenrhein-Bodensee-Hochrhein" to ECU 13.8 million. The EU will contribute half the additional funds now approved, of which the European Regional Development Fund share amounts to ECU 1.845 million. The other half will come in equal parts from the Austrian federal authorities and the Bundesland of Vorarlberg. Implementation of the INTERREG programme will include projects involving the creation of a high-technology cross-border information system, based around the Lake Constance database server, and environmental projects to develop the monitoring of water quality, particularly in the Old Rhine. In the transport sector the intention is to coordinate local public passenger transport across the borders in a more effective way and to encourage a shift of goods traffic to the rail network, particularly via the northern shore of the Lake through Austria to Switzerland.
Austria, Switzerland, Germany