INTERREG IVC provides funding for interregional cooperation across Europe. It is implemented under the European Community's territorial co-operation objective and financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Operational Programme was approved in September 2007 and the period for INTERREG IVC will last from 2007-2013. This programme follows on from the INTERREG IIIC programme which ran from 2002-2006.
The overall objective of the INTERREG IVC Programme is to improve the effectiveness of regional policies and instruments. A project builds on the exchange of experiences among partners who are ideally responsible for the development of their local and regional policies.
The areas of support are innovation and the knowledge economy, environment and risk prevention. Thus, the programme aims to contribute to the economic modernisation and competitiveness of Europe.
Typical tools for exchange of experience are networking activities such as thematic workshops, seminars, conferences, surveys, and study visits. Project partners cooperate to identify and transfer good practices. Possible project outcomes include for example case study collections, policy recommendations, strategic guidelines or action plans. INTERREG IVC also allows light implementation or piloting, but only if these complement the exchange of experience activities.
The INTERREG IVC supports two thematic priorities. The thematic coverage of these priorities is designed to contribute to the accomplishments of Lisbon and Gothenburg agendas.
Priority 1: Innovation and the knowledge economy
Priority 1 connected with the Lisbon agenda, aims at enabling regional and local authorities, and other stakeholders at the regional level, to improve their policies, methods and capacities in the field of innovation and the knowledge economy, through the exchange and transfer of knowledge and experience between regions throughout the European Union, and the development of new policies and approaches.
This priority contributes to reducing regional disparities throughout Europe by strengthening regional innovation potential. The ambition is also to pool expertise in order to increase the overall level of regions' competitiveness in Europe.
The renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs in the European Union places a strong emphasis on further developing the knowledge society. This is based on the assumption that Europe's potential for future economic development is directly linked to its ability to create and promote high-value, innovative and research-based economic sectors, that are capable of competing with the best in the world
Priority 2: Environment and the risk prevention
The aim of Priority 2 connected with the Gothenburg agenda, is also to empower the public authorities and other stakeholders to improve their policies and develop new approaches to improve the quality of environment and to increase the attractiveness of the regions in Europe by means of exchanging knowledge and experience between regions.
The European Union is committed to sustainable development, which involves protecting and improving the quality of environment. Globally, that means safeguarding the Earth's capacity to support life in all its diversity, and respecting the limits of the planet’s natural resources. An EU-wide environmental policy makes sense, because all EU citizens are entitled to the same level of environmental protection and all businesses are entitled to operate in the same competitive conditions.
The INTERREG IVC programme has one Joint Technical Secretariat for the whole of Europe, based in Lille, France. It is supported by four Information Points that deliver information and technical advice to applicants, depending on the location of the Lead Partner. They are based in Katowice (Poland), Lille (France), Rostock (Germany) and Valencia (Spain).
National Contact Points are also in operation to answer questions on country specific requirements like eligibility of partners or the provision of additional national co-funding.
Finally, the Monitoring Committee is the central decision-making body of the programme. They are responsible of ensuring the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of the Operational Programme.