European cooperation programmes
Two European cross-border cooperation programmes finance the cross-border projects in the Upper Rhine and the Greater Region:
Interreg VA Upper Rhine
This programme covers a trinational territory that takes in parts of France, Germany and Switzerland: the Alsace Region, the western part of Baden-Württemberg, the southern part of Rhineland-Pfalz and the cantons of Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land, Jura, Solothurn and Aargau. The Upper Rhine programme groups together the former programmes known as Interreg PAMINA (launched in 1989) and Interreg Upper Rhine Centre-South (1990). In order to achieve the objective of supporting local development, the area has been divided into four intermediate zones corresponding to the four Rhineland Eurodistricts, although they do not have their own sub-budgets.
The managing authority, as well as being the national authority for France, is the Conseil régional of Grand Est Region. The joint technical secretariat is also part of the same unit and includes four territorial reference people who are in charge of the programme’s intermediate zones (the Eurodistricts).
With an ERDF budget of €110 million, the 5th part of the programme finances: economic development (applied research and technology transfers, SMEs and tourism); training (both initial and vocational), employment, culture and public services; sustainable development (natural resource management, renewable energies and transport). In addition to individual projects, the programme also finances four micro-project funds that are allocated to each of the Eurodistricts.
Interreg VA "Greater region"
This programme brings together territories from four countries: the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ten arrondissements of the Belgian province of Luxembourg (Wallonia), four French departments and ten German Landkreise (from the Rheinland-Pfalz and Saarland Länder). A product of the merger of three Interreg IIIA programmes, the IVA programme was originally divided into four geographical entities with dedicated funding: “the Greater Region” (the whole area), “Saar-Moselle (Lorraine)-Western Pfalz”, “Wallonia-Lorraine-Luxembourg” and “Germany-Luxembourg-German-speaking community of Belgium”. Each geographical entity had a selection sub-committee and a regional office providing technical support. While the regional offices remain in place to carry out some of the technical assistance tasks, the decision was taken in June 2012 to end the distribution of funding by geographical entity and the selection of projects by the sub-committees.
This programme is the only one in Europe to be run by an EGTC (since 2010), after a temporary period of being managed by Wallonia. The 11 programme partners are members of this EGTC, which is chaired by the prefect of the Grand Est Region. In France, the programme’s national authority is the prefecture of the Grand Est Region.
The Great Region Interreg VA programme is made up of four priority axes:
1. To carry on the development of an integrated labor market that supports education, training, and making physical mobility easier,
2. To ensure environmentally- and living condition-friendly development,
3. To improve life conditions,
4. To strengthen Greater Region competitiveness and attractiveness via research and innovation and support to companies.