Updated COVID-19 implications for the NWE Programme

Implications for physical contact

The Interreg North-West Europe Joint Secretariat is continuously adapting to all rules established by the French authorities on the COVID-19 outbreak. We are convinced these measures ensure the health and safety of visitors and staff the best way possible.

At this stage, although telework continues to be prioritised for the JS, physical meetings with external parties can take place if the conditions are agreed by all involved parties beforehand.

Please note that the JS offices will be closed from 3 to 7 August and that all staff members will be off during this week.

Implications for the eligibility of costs for NWE projects

In line with the guidance provided by DG Regio (FAQ on COVID-19 and force majeurecosts of cancelled travel remain eligible if:

  • The national level or the partner institution ban any travel activities,
  • A person has a health issue making travelling too risky,
  • A conference was cancelled by the organiser (taking into consideration that the costs are borne by the institution and will not be reimbursed otherwise).

Personal preference not to travel, if not backed by a recommendation either from your organisation, or any other official level (local, regional or national) is not considered a reason for eligibility from the Interreg North-West Europe Programme side.

Meeting costs (room, catering etc.) remain eligible. We leave it up to the organiser to either go ahead with a reduced number of participants or to cancel the meeting due to force majeure.

Finally, we remind you to always have a clear audit trail for those expenditures (with official announcements, cancellation notes, internal notes etc.). It is also important to check with your FLCs as there may be national rules that apply as well.

If you are experiencing any specific problems with the implementation of your project, please contact your Project Officer.

We will keep projects partners informed of any further change on this topic or any other information on how the consequences of the COVID-19 can affect our Programme.


Project delays linked to COVID-19 situation

Time extensions requested less than six months before the closure date of the project can exceptionally be granted by the JS, when the project justifies that the unforeseen delay is related to COVID-19 measures taken on national, regional, local or organisational level.

In case of delays due to COVID-19, please get in touch with your Project Officer to discuss a possible flexible arrangement for your case.


Implications for projects facing financial difficulties due to COVID-19

The EU has adopted two specific regulations to respond to the crisis:

  • The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) - Regulation 2020/460 - in force since 1 April 2020.
  • The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) Regulation 2020/558 – approved on 23 April 2020

The possibilities provided in the two new regulations have been discussed by the NWE Programme. In line with Article 2 of CRII+, the Programme decided to support projects with an undertaking in difficulty within the temporary state aid framework, but only if the difficulty is related to the COVID-19 crisis.

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