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Regional co-operation programmes for 2021–2027 support the competitiveness and functional labour market of border regions

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 16.9.2021 13.25 | Published in English on 17.9.2021 at 14.30
Press release

The Government has approved Finland’s participation in seven European regional co-operation programmes, i.e. the Interreg programme series. These programmes support cross-border, transnational and interregional co-operation. They are part of the upcoming EU regional and structural policy programming period, and are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The programmes promote the exchange of experiences and dissemination of good practice from the regions. This can have a significant impact on the competitiveness and economic development of regions, and especially of border regions. A further aim is to promote the effectiveness of cross-border labour markets.

The programmes also seek to strengthen the entire Baltic Sea region as a European and global economic area, and to find new solutions and formats for the developmental problems of sparsely populated northern regions.

The programmes are jointly prepared with the participating countries and regions. All of the countries that participate in a programme must approve it nationally, after which the programmes are submitted to the European Commission for approval.

Programmes approved by the Government on 16 September 2021, participating countries and funding:

Interreg: Cross-border co-operation

  • Aurora: Finland, Norway and Sweden
    • total funding of EUR 160.8 million, including EU funding (ERDF) of EUR 93.8 million
  • Central Baltic: Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden
    • total funding of EUR 158.5 million, including EU funding (ERDF) of EUR 126.8 million

Interreg IIIB: transnational co-operation

  • Northern Periphery and Arctic: Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland, Norway and Sweden (potentially Northern Ireland, Russia and Scotland over the programming period)
    • total funding of EUR 67.3 million, including EU funding (ERDF) of EUR 43.8 million    

Interreg IIIC: interregional co-operation

  • Interreg Europe: EU-wide, Norway, Switzerland;
    • total funding of EUR 474.4 million, including EU funding (ERDF) of EUR 379.5 million
  • Interact: EU-wide, Norway, Switzerland
    • total funding of EUR 45.0 million, including EU funding (ERDF) of EUR 33.8 million
  • URBACT: EU-wide, Norway, Switzerland, and the EU candidate or IPA countries: Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey
    • total funding of EUR 103.0 million, including EU funding (ERDF) of EUR 79.8 million
  • ESPON: EU-wide, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
    • total funding of EUR 60.0 million, including EU funding (ERDF) of EUR 48.0 million

Finland will participate in a total of eleven programmes, four of which are still in preparation. The national approval process for the remaining four Interreg programmes (Baltic Sea Region, Kolarctic, Karelia, and South-East Finland - Russia) will be launched later in the autumn.

Petri Haapalainen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4922

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