Press release from the European Commission
A review of the cross-programme collaboration between EU cooperation programmes in the Arctic covering the period 2016-2021
The Arctic Cooperation has proven to be a useful and flexible structure for achieving visibility, better coordination, and synergies beyond what each individual programme could hope to achieve. In addition, the Arctic Cooperation added a regional development aspect to the EU Arctic Policy.
What characterises the Arctic Cooperation is the pragmatic approach to cross-programme coordination and organising joint activities, based on openness, good will, and trust. It was understood that the joint activities should stay within the remit of programme administrations, and not enter the domain of policy makers.
Besides this synergetic and networking effect, the cooperation has also clearly raised the visibility and awareness of the programmes, the projects, and of Arctic regional development issues more generally. The cooperation has lifted the profile of each programme and its projects to new audiences, including decision makers. The fact that the cooperation can exist without a macro-regional or sea-basin strategy is seen as a novelty, also described as a “soft cooperation”.
Going forward, the Interreg Arctic Cooperation sees opportunities to develop a deeper cooperation, more involvement from the Monitoring Committees, more synergies for stakeholders, and more outreach to other networks, also outside the EU, in line with the 2021 EU’s Joint Communication on a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic.
What is the Arctic Cooperation?
The Arctic Cooperation is a cross-programme collaboration between 5 EU funded programmes: Interreg Nord, Interreg Botnia-Atlantica, Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic, Karelia ENI CBC and Kolarctic ENI CBC which officially started in 2016 after the publication of the EU’s Joint Arctic Communication, “An integrated European Union policy for the Arctic”. Read more
Lessons Learnt content overview
The first chapter describes the process and actions initiated by the NPA and other programmes to explore the scope of the collaboration, and how this was eventually defined in a pragmatic roadmap within the remit of the EU Joint Communication about the Arctic.
The second chapter illustrates the activities jointly developed and the resources used. It is worth noting that this collaboration was possible without a specific administration structure or additional funding.
The third chapter gathers testimonials from the programmes, projects and European institutions, highlighting the added value brought to each by the Arctic Cooperation.
The paper concludes with an outlook on future cooperation opportunities.
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Originally published on 9 September
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