Policy Areas

Norway and the EU Regional Policy

The EU regional policy is not a part of the EEA agreement. However, Norway has participated in INTERREG since January 1,1995. INTERREG is a part of EU’s regional policy, financed by the Structural Funds. The Norwegian participation has been financed by the country’s own economic resource from national, regional and local level. Norway participates in INTERREG on almost equal conditions as the EU Member States.

In the last period (2006-2013), Norway took part in nine different INTERREG programmes: Three cross-border programmes, three transnational programmes, INTERREG III C North, INTERACT and ESPON. Both regional and local level have shown considerable interest to participate in INTERREG. Almost 450 projects have had Norwegian partners and Norway has utilized about 120 million euros to finance the project participations – 50 % of which comes from the Norwegian state budget and is comparable to the EU funding in Member States.

The Norwegian Government considers participation in INTERREG to be an important value added to the national regional policy.

European Territorrial Cooperation (INTERREG IV) 2007-2013
The Government has decided that Norway also in the next period will participate as an active partner in INTERREG.

Territorial Cooperation or INTERREG IV is a community initiative that aims to stimulate co-operation across the borders in EU through transnational and interregional cooperation. It is financed through European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The purpose of INTERREG is to strengthen economic and social cohesion throughout the European Union by fostering the balanced development of the continent.

70 INTERREG IV programmes will be implemented (56 cross-border programmes, 13 transnational programmes and one interregional program.)

The setting up of networks and exchange of experiences is covered by the three programmes INTERACT, URBACT and ESPON. Norway will participate in all strands and also in these three programmes.
 
The importance of INTERREG in the EU’s regional policy has increased and the allocation for the period 2007-2013 is significantly higher than in the previous period, i.e. 8.723 billion euro in this period compared to 4.875 billion euro in the previous. INTERREG is no longer a community initiative, but is now a part of the mainstream activity.

Norway is participating in the following cross-border programmes:
– Interreg Nord: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark counties
– Interreg Kvarken – Mitt Skandia: Nordland county
– Interreg Sweden-Norway: The counties Nord Trøndelag, Sør Trøndelag, Hedmark and Østfold
Interreg Kattegat – Skagerrak

Transnational co-operation between national, regional and local authorities aims to promote a higher degree of territorial integration across large groups of European regions, with a vision of achieving sustainable, harmonious and balanced development in the European Union and better territorial integration with candidate and other neighbouring countries.

Norway is also participating in three transnational programmes :
– The Baltic Sea programme: The whole country
– The North Sea programme: The whole country
– Northern Periphery: The counties Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal, Sør-Trøndelag, Nord-Trøndelag, Nordland, Troms, Finnmark .

The aim of interregional co-operation is to improve the effectiveness of policies and instruments for regional development and cohesion through networking, particularly for regions whose development is lagging behind and those undergoing conversion. Norway participates in this cooperation (INTERREG IV C) together with Switzerland and all EU Member States.

Norway also participates in the ENPI Kolarctic programme, which includes the counties Nordland, Troms and Finnmark.

Contact person at the Mission of Norway to the EU is Arve Skjerpen, phone: +32 (0) 22341164

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Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Magnhild Meltveit  Kleppa
Photo: Guri DahlPhoto: