European territorial cooperation programmes 2021-2027

European territorial cooperation programmes 2021-2027

European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) is part of the cohesion policies of the European Union.

Financed by the European Regional Development Fund, (ERDF), it represents one of the main general objectives of the European Union's cohesion policy, implemented through the support of the European Structural and Investment Funds, (ESIF), including the ERDF.

This objective is aimed at promoting collaboration between the territories of the various EU Member States through the implementation of joint actions, exchange of experiences and construction of networks between national, regional and local actors, in order to promote an economic, social and territorial harmonious development of the European Union as a whole. Third countries can participate in cooperation programs. In such cases, the European Neighborhood Instrument, (ENI), and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance, (IPA II), can also be used to finance cooperation actions.

The Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Department for Cohesion Policies, (DPCoe), and the Agency for Territorial Cohesion, (ACT), oversee the planning and implementation of the interventions relating to the Italian participation in the European Territorial Cooperation Programs, as national Authorities of reference for the European Commission and for the other Member States.

The Strategic Coordination Group, (GCS), was established as a national coordination and coordination center for the implementation of the ETC objective, consistent with the policy and investment priorities in the various thematic areas touched by the Programs. This group approved the draft internal regulation of the established National Committees, on the basis of what is sanctioned by the Understanding of the State-Regions Conference, to accompany Italy's participation in the Territorial Cooperation Programmes to which it belongs.

The Ministry of the Environment and Energy Security, (MASE), is a member of the GCS and participates in the National Program Committees as a member with the right to vote in the figure of the administrative officer in charge of the Program and Head of the Activity Sector. The purpose of the National Committees is also to contribute to the definition of the national position regarding the planning and implementation of the various Programs. MASE also coordinates participation in cohesion policy activities and facilitates the dissemination of useful news and updates through publications on the institutional website.

The ETC objective is represented by the Interregional Programs, which see territorial cooperation declined in:

  • Transnational cooperation
  • Cross-border cooperation
  • Interregional cooperation
  • Outermost regions cooperation

Transnational cooperation involves national, regional and local partners and also includes cross-border maritime cooperation in those cases not covered by cross-border cooperation, with a view to achieving a higher level of territorial integration of the same territories.

Cross-border cooperation promotes integrated regional development between neighboring regions having sea and land borders in two or more Member States, or between neighboring regions in, at least, one Member State, and a third country on the external borders of the Union other than those concerned by the Programs in the field of the Union's external financing instruments.

Interregional cooperation involves all the Member States of the European Union and aims to strengthen the effectiveness of the cohesion policy, promoting the exchange of experiences, the identification and dissemination of good practices.

The cooperation of the outermost regions is an innovative factor regarding the ETC objective, introduced with the new programming. It will facilitate the integration and harmonious development of the RUPs in their respective regions.

As part of the new 2021-2027 programming, Italy has reconfirmed its participation in the 19 Programs it was already following in the previous 2014-2020 programming. It concerns:


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Ultimo aggiornamento 28.09.2023