Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 800 million

Official Journal Reference

C 215 of 1990-08-30
To assist both internal and external border areas of the European Community in overcoming the special development problems arising from their relative isolation within national economies and within the Community as a whole; 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 internal market of 1992; 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 Community.


The INTERREG initiative was established to assist the development and integration of the Community's internal and external border regions by providing support for cross-border cooperation measures. These measures are directed at alleviating the specific problems encountered by border regions due to their location and at preparing them for full participation in the 1992 single market project.

Actions covered under the 1990-1993 phase of INTERREG covered almost all areas of economic development activity, ranging from transport and communication (45% of credits) to support of business and tourism (28% of credits), environment (10% of credits), training and other activities (11% of credits).

On 15 June 1995, the Commission took a Decision in accordance with the Regulations governing the Structural Fund extending the INTERREG initiative for the period 1994-1999 (INTERREG II). The second phase of the initiative is divided into two distinct strands: the first strand continues the cross-border cooperation activities covered under INTERREG I (with some modifications in the context of the completion of the single market); the second strand concerns the completion of selected energy networks started under the REGEN initiative.


Eligible measures:

- 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 and local 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.


Operational programmes and projects supported under INTERREG were jointly financed by the Community and the Member States. The total contribution from the Community's Structural Fund to INTERREG for the period 1990-1993 was ECU 800. Loans from the resources of the European Investment Bank and the European Coal and Steel Community were also made available, as was assistance for complementary pilot projects under Article 10 of Regulation 4254/88, Article 1(2) of Regulation 4255/88 and Article 8 of Regulation 4256/88.

Community assistance in the form of loans and grants was made available to eligible regions on the basis of selected operational programmes and projects under the Community Support Frameworks of the Member States.
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