Programming process and timeline

Indicative timeline

The dedicated task force set up to design the next NWE Programme (NTF) gathers representatives of six Members States as well as, in advisory capacity, the Joint Secretariat, the Managing Authority (Région Hauts-de-France), Contact Points and an external facilitator. It has been set up in November 2020 and has held 13 meetings until now.

Within the NTF, seven working groups on specific topics have been launched to discuss  the different aspects of the future programme.

The working groups are listed below. Most of them have finished their work.

  • Territorial analysis: to identify Interreg NWE’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. See the section below.
  • Themes: to define the themes that the future programme will address within the 5 policy objectives and Interreg Specific Objective defined by the Commission.
  • Indicators/Intervention logic: to define indicators for each specific objective of the Programme/ to define the intervention logic per specific objective, and the drafting of the Interreg programme template. Ongoing
  • Project development: to detail the intervention logic behind the development and implementation of each project, the application process and the selection criteria for projects. Ongoing
  • Communication: to agree on external communication objectives, target groups and organise the stakeholder consultation. See the section below.
  • Finances: tackling costs, audit and control aspects for 2021-2027. Ongoing
  • Technical Assistance: to propose a budget for the Joint Secretariat and Contact Points. Ongoing

The NTF debated the proposals formulated by these working groups and has made the final decisions. At last NTF meeting on 6 October 2021, Member state representatives agreed on a draft Interreg Programme (27 Oct 2021 version), including five priorities and nine specific objectives for the future NWE Programme to focus on.

The first call will be launched on 22 March 2022.

Territorial analysis

A territorial analysis (full reportsummary version), identifying the NWE Programme’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – comparatively to other (Interreg) Programmes was conducted. Drawing lessons from the 2014-2020 period, it seeks to answer the following question: What type of territorial projects would deliver added value to European Territorial Cohesion through transnational cooperation? The document defines Interreg NWE's needs regarding its territorial span and includes recommendations for a geographical area to be covered by the next programme. It also addresses target groups to engage with and topics to tackle in 2021-2027. This is a background document which will support the working groups and NTF discussions and help in drafting the new Cooperation Programme.

Stakeholder consultation

In the framework of the elaboration process of the Future NWE programme 2021-2027, all interested stakeholders at EU, national, regional, and local level were invited to share their feedback on the thematic orientations preselected by NWE Member States via a stakeholder consultation, which was open for about 5 weeks, running from 25 February until 28 March 2021. A total of 412 responses were collected, which illustrates a high interest of stakeholders in the Interreg NWE Programme 2021-2027.

The outcome of this consultation was brought together in a synthesis report, which was used by the NTF to fine tune the indicative thematic orientations and identify as precisely as possible the target audiences for each topic.

The report notably provides insights into the following areas:

  • main characteristics of respondents, especially showing how balanced responses are in terms of geography and types of organisations (Sections 2.1 and 2.2);
  • the main added value raised by respondents from cooperation in NWE (Section 2.3);
  • an overview of the interest in the five priorities (Chapter 3);
  • an overview of other fields of interest raised by respondents across priorities (Chapter 4); and
  • some conclusions (Chapter 5).

Disclaimer: This report uses the formulation of priorities and fields of interest as applied in the survey at the beginning of 2021, notwithstanding any changes of how priorities and fields of interest may be formulated or considered at all in the final Interreg Programme.

EU Negotiations

Negotiations between EU institutions regarding the future Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, which determines the share of EU budget allocated to Cohesion Policy and thus to Interreg programmes are now finalised.

On 25 June 2021, the European Commission welcomed the adoption by the European Parliament of the political agreements on the Cohesion policy legislative package 2021-2027 of €373 billion and its signature by both co-legislators. This marked the final step of the legislative procedure and allowed for an entry into force of the Cohesion legislation on 1 July 2021.

The Cohesion Policy package 2021-2027 is available here.

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