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Think Europe: Insights from the Interreg Annual Event 2021

Working on the future of the Interreg 2021-2027 programmes means delivering projects within a broader European picture, it means we must Think Europe. This was Commissioner Elisa Ferreira’s key message at the Interreg Annual Event 2021.

In this article, we would like to share the highlights from the Interreg Annual Event 2021 launch day and reiterate Commissioner Elisa Ferreira’s message of cohesion and solidarity.

Cooperation as the key to setting Europe’s future in motion:

During her speech, Elisa Ferreira emphasized the importance of cooperation and identified three key themes that should underlie the Interreg 2021-2027 programmes as they move forward and help shape the future of Europe and its close neighbours:

  • Green: Fighting the climate emergency and supporting the Green Deal
  • Digital: Seizing opportunities from the digital revolution
  • Cohesion: Recognising the importance of not leaving anyregion or citizen behind

After highlighting the pathway to cooperation between regions through this three-pronged green, digital and cohesion approach, Commissioner Elisa Ferreira offered various concrete examples of good practices.

If you wish to learn more about green cooperation and cohesion in border regions, you can also have a look at our ‘Beyond Borders: Breakfast Debates’ dedicated to the Green Deal and EU integration.

Acting together to benefit the territory:

Visible benefits for citizens should always be the core objective of budget decisions. To do so, programmes in the same territory should act  in partnership and think about joint actions and strategies.

This is the way in which the next generation of Interreg programmes can add value to these regions and the EU as a whole, and make best use of the EU money at their disposal.

Novelties for the 2021-2027 programming period:

An open exchange with representatives of various units in DG REGIO followed Commissioner Elisa Ferreira’s speech:

  • Moray Gillard (Economic analysis and negotiations) touched upon funding issues, as well as the opportunities that come from increased specificity and simplicity.
  • Daria Gismondi (Evaluationand European semester) talked about the recently conceived Interreg common output indicators, which are expected to add a cooperation dimension that will enable better communication on results.
  • Pascal Boijmans (Interreg CBC, internal borders) discussed the newly promoted functional areas, which will provide the Interreg programmes with a more flexible approach to cross border cooperation.
  • Marcela Buzoi (Audit and control) announced that the designation process will not be performed, thus facilitating the work of managing and audit authorities at the start of the programming period.
  • Jean-Pierre Halkin (Interreg, IPA, NEXT, MRS) discussed the external borders programmes, outlining the specifics of different projects.


If you wish to learn more about what happened at the Interreg Annual Event 2021, you can find the live record on the EU REGIO Interreg Twitter (@RegioInterreg) or visit the Interreg website.

institutional matters