INTERACT 2014-2020 or INTERACT III, is a programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective (ETC) and is a part of the Interreg VC strand of interregional cooperation. This programme covers the entire territory of the European Union, Switzerland and Norway.
The main objective of INTERACT III is to enhance the effectiveness of cohesion policy by promoting exchanges of experience and good practice between programmes. Its budget for the period 2014-2020 is €45,300,000 (85% ERDF and 15% national contributions). This programme does no longer fund projects since the previous programming period 2007-2013.
The cooperation programme is built around two priorities:
1. Service development and delivery (about 94% of total funding)
This priority aims at the generation, delivery and dissemination of services and products based on good practices, knowledge and experience of actors working in territorial cooperation.
2. Technical assistance (about 6% of total funding)
Technical assistance concerns activities related to the preparation, management, evaluation and control of the programme.
INTERACT III is structured around three specific objectives:
- To improve management and control capacity of ETC programmes
INTERACT III identifies and supports the exchange of good practice through studies, training and networking. In addition, the programme also acts as an interface between Interreg programmes and stakeholders in macro-regions.
- To improve ETC capacity in capturing and communicating the programme project results
Within the specific objective, INTERACT III supports programmes in all phases of their life cycle. INTERACT III is also in contact with the Interreg Europe programme as their thematic platforms may also involve actors from ETC programme. The KEEP initiative (European Database of Territorial Cooperation Projects) launched by INTERACT II is being continued with the support of the various programmes.
- To improve the cooperation management capacity to implement innovative approaches (EGTC, revolving funds, macro-regional strategies, etc.).
The programme focuses on innovative and methodological aspects of cooperation. It also helps to analyse, promote and disseminate innovative practices developed in macro-regions.
The INTERACT III Operational Programme identifies three target audiences:
- Program Managers
- Regional or national stakeholders in cooperation
- Stakeholders throughout the European Union who are to improve cooperation only if necessary
Managing authority and offices
The Managing authority for the programme is the Autonomous Region of Bratislava (Slovakia). The programme has four permanent offices (contact points) :
- Turku (Finland)
- Valencia (Spain)
- Viborg (Denmark)
- Vienna (Austria)
Each of these offices ensures contact with the target audiences in its geographical area.
MOT-led interact project
The Interact programme for the period 2000-2006 allowed project financing. In this context, the MOT has been the lead partner of an Interact project “INTERFORM” – “European Network for Training and Research on Cross-Border Practices”. This project, carried out between 2004 and 2008, led to the creation of a European training and research network focusing on cross-border practices.
The MOT participated in several consultations leading up to the 2014-2020 programme:
Neighbourhood and enlargement
INTERACT III supports cooperation under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).
Project managers in INTERACT offices are responsible for supporting IPA II cross-border cooperation. This support will be important in areas where macro-regional strategies have been implemented, with IPA II serving as a tool for their development.
INTERACT III offers its services to the 17 ENI cross-border cooperation programmes with the same three objectives as for internal cooperation. INTERACT primarily supports horizontal activities common to all programmes, while more specific support for each programme is implemented through a complementary initiative of DG NEAR.