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  1. An institution, body, office or agency established by or based on the Treaty on European Union and the Treaties establishing the European Communities.

    All education and training facilities for people of different age groups.

    An intergovernmental organization having legal personality under public international law or a specialized agency established by such an international organization. An international organization, the majority of whose members are Member States or Associated Countries and whose main objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe, is an International Organization of European Interest.

    A person with legal rights and obligations. Unlike a legal entity, a natural person does not have a legal act (e.g. association, limited liability company, etc.).

    An NPO is an institution or organization which, by virtue of its legal form, is not profit-oriented or which is required by law not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members. An NGO is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that does not represent business interests. Pursues a common purpose for the benefit of society.

    A partnership, corporation, person, or agency that is for-profit and not operated by the government.

    Any government or other public administration, including public advisory bodies, at the national, regional or local level.

    A research institution is a legal entity established as a non-profit organization whose main objective is to conduct research or technological development. A college/university is a legal entity recognized by its national education system as a university or college or secondary school. It may be a public or private institution.

    A microenterprise, a small or medium-sized enterprise (business) as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361. To qualify as an SME for EU funding, an enterprise must meet certain conditions, including (a) fewer than 250 employees and (b) an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million. These ceilings apply only to the figures for individual companies.

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  1. Governance, partnership: Projects aimed at increasing the application of multilevel and transnational or cross-border governance, designing and testing appropriate governance structures and mechanisms. Also cooperation between public institutions on any theme.

    Innovation capacity and awareness-raising: Actions that increase a person’s or organisation’s capacity for innovation (not innovation as such), and that establish the capacity to diffuse and apply innovation; projects that stimulate innovation in different areas and innovation capacities; strengthening and empowering of innovation networks.

    Institutional cooperation and cooperation networks: Projects working on the improvement of institutional cross-border co-operation and capacities, on renewing and simplifying administrative management through long term cooperation between institutions (e.g. Euregion), on establishing and sharing regional knowledge and intercultural understanding and cohesion. It also deals with cooperations between universities, health care facilities, schools and sports organisations, as well as with management and capacity building.

    Activities focussing on agricultural products, organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products; furthermore the development of the food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products and any topics related to animals and fishing.

    Agriculture and fisheries and forestry: Projects focussing on agricultural products (i.e. fruits, meat, olives, etc.), organic farming, horticulture, as well as forest management and wood products. Also the development of the agro-food sector, food chains, organic food production, and seafood products. Any topics related to animals (i.e. health, management) and fishing (i.e. sustainable fishery, aquaculture).

    Soil and air quality: Projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Climate change and biodiversity projects assisting mitigation and adaption to climate change and environmental impacts of climate change. Development of low carbon technologies and strategies, reduction of CO2 emissions from all sectors. Promotion of biodiversity, new instruments to enhance biodiversity and natural protection.

    Soil and air quality projects that deal with any topic against soil and air pollution, except water pollution, for example, reduction of soil and air contamination, pollution-management systems, but also prevention and eradication of soil erosion, new ways of improving air quality (also indoors) and soil/air knowledge in general.

    Water management projects about management and distribution of drinking water, integrated sustainable water management, monitoring systems for water supply and improving drinking water quality; also water treatment (wastewater), in particular, innovative technologies to improve wastewater, treatments in the purification of industrial and domestic wastewater and water reuse policies. Waterways, lakes and rivers: This deals with any topics on waterways, lakes and rivers, from improving water quality, protecting and developing of ecosystems or sustainable wetland management.

    Activities that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Cultural heritage and arts projects that protect, promote and enhance cultural and natural heritage, increase the attractiveness through preservation and valorisation of common cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable manner, and improve and develop cultural and natural heritage objects, services and products. Cultural heritage management, art and culture, (maritime) heritage routes, access to cultural and natural heritage. Also all topics on cultural services such as festivals, concerts, art workshops.

    Tourism projects dealing with the promotion of natural assets, and the protection and development of natural heritage, as well as increasing the touristic attractiveness through the better use of natural, cultural and historical heritage. Also projects about improved tourist services/products, development of ecotourism models, tourism development strategies.

    Sustainable management of natural resources projects focussing on the protection, promotion and valorization, and sustainable management and conservation of natural areas (habitats, geo parks, protected areas, etc.). Also projects focussing on preserving and enhancing cultural and natural heritage and landscape, as well as protecting the marine environment.

    Projects on waste management (innovative services and strategies), ecological waste treatment, treatment techniques/systems; waste disposal and recycling (improvement of recycling, innovative recycling technologies, recovery of organic waste, repair & re-use centres and networks); also prevention of pollution and pollution control (ecological and circular economy, marine littering, etc.).

    Labour market and employment: creating employment opportunities and/or optimising jobs, academic (un)employment and job mobility, workforce attraction and improvement of employment conditions for different groups.

    SME and entrepreneurship: strengthening SME capacities, boosting entrepreneurial activities in different sectors and for different groups, supporting social entrepreneurship, creating business support/advisory systems for start-ups/spin-offs/incubators, improving the competitiveness of SMEs, and promoting new business processes.

    Community integration and common identity projects that build identity, create a more cohesive society, promote positive relations through an increased provision of shared spaces and services.

    Demographic change and immigration is about projects tackling major societal challenges like demographic change in different areas and migration, in particular, aging society (active aging, best agers, silver economy strategies) and related new public services (adaptation of key services and infrastructure), social and spatial segregation, and brain drain. Also all topics on migration (policy tools, strategic planning, integration).

    All projects where ICT has a significant role, including tailor-made ICT solutions in different fields, as well as digital innovation hubs, open data, Internet of Things; ICT access and connecting (remote) areas with digital infrastructure and services; services and applications for citizens (e-health, e-government, e-learning, e-inclusion, etc.); services and applications for companies (e-commerce, networking, digital transformation, etc.).

    This is about the mitigation and management of risks and disasters, and the anticipation and response capacity towards the actors regarding specific risks and management of natural disasters, for example, prevention of flood and drought hazards, forest fire, strong weather conditions, etc.. It is also about risk assessment and safety.

    Education and training projects on expanding educational opportunities, reducing barriers in the field of education, improving higher education and lifelong learning, training and labour mobility, educational networks, higher vocational education, common learning programmes.

    Topics on energy management, energy-saving methods, evaluating energy efficiency measurements, energy rehabilitation/efficiency in buildings / public infrastructure, promotion of energy efficiency, cooperation among experienced energy efficiency firms, institutions and local administrations, co-generation.

    Projects focussing on wind, solar, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal and other renewable energy, increasing the production of sustainable renewable energy and improving research capacities in biomass. Also projects focussing on storage and management of renewable energy, new technologies, sustainable regional bioenergy policies and financial Instruments for investments on renewable energy.

    Social projects concerning people with disabilities and excluded groups; enhancement of the capacity of children, young people, women and elderly; creation of infrastructure to improve access for disabled people, integration of socially vulnerable people; innovate in the care of victims of gender violence, social inclusion of women, etc.

    This deals with the development of health and social services and improved accessibility and efficiency for different groups (elderly, children, etc.). It is also about new healthcare models and medical diagnosis and treatments (dementia, cancer, diabetes, etc.), hospitals, care management, and rare diseases, as well as improving wellbeing and promoting sports.

    Projects about (organised) crime, efficient and secure borders, such as enhancing the effectiveness of the police in the prevention of drug crimes, the development of safety services, or tackling security and organised crime issues.

    Activities related to:

    • Transport and mobility covering all sorts of transport (incl. urban transport) and mobility.
    • Improving transport connections dealing with traffic and/or transport connections, rehabiliation/modernisation, better connectivity, improving accessibility/connections, but also public transport.
    • Multimodal transport and logistics and freight transport focusing on using different means of transport, developing multimodal connections, optimising intermodal transport chains; offering multimodal logistics solutions and providing access to clean, efficient and multimodal transport corridors and hubs; establishing cooperation among logistic centres and developing multimodal mobility strategies.

    Activities related to:

    • urban development, such as planning and design of cities and urban areas, urban renewal, urban-rural links (climate, sustainable mobility, water efficiency, participation, sustainable land use, smart cities, public urban areas, regeneration)
    • regional planning and development, such as the implementation of regional development policies/instruments and programmes, sustainable land use management plans, integrated regional action plans, spatial planning, and marine protected area management.
    • rural and peripheral development, referring to remote, sparsely populated areas, rural community development, and rural economics, in particular access to remote areas and policies for rural areas.
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Program key data

Interreg Central Europe Programme

Parent programEuropean Regional Development Fund
Link to the

Content of program

short description

Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE envisions a united central Europe that cooperates - to become smarter, greener and better connected together. Based on shared needs and a common identity in an area long divided by the ‘Iron Curtain’, the programme aims for a trustful culture of cooperation beyond administrative borders.

program objectives

The programme mission is to bring regions and cities together beyond borders to find fitting solutions for their citizens – in a fair and equal way everywhere. It encourages and supports transnational cooperation to make regions more resilient to common challenges that know no borders and which cannot be solved alone. These challenges include among others economic transition processes, climate change, and the long-term socioeconomic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programme priorities and specific objectives form the backbone of the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE funding strategy in 2021-27. In line with the thematic fields, transnational cooperation actions are expected to address the development and implementation of strategies, action plans, tools, training, pilot actions and related solutions. All actions will have to respect the horizontal principles of sustainable development including environmental protection as well as equal opportunities, non-discrimination and gender equality.

Priority 1:  Cooperating for a smarter central Europe

  • SO 1.1 Strengthening innovation capacities in central Europe
    Strong innovation capacities bear enormous relevance for central Europe considering its strong industrial base and the importance of sectors such as agriculture and food, or tourism. Innovation is also central for strengthening central Europe’s economic resilience. Capacities for innovation need to be fostered especially in regions that are struggling with the transition to a more globalised, digitalised and green economy. Knowledge and technology transfer, especially for SMEs, is a critical need.

  • SO 1.2  Strenghtening skills for smart specialisation, industrial transition and entrepreneurship in central Europe
    The strong industrial base of central Europe and its dependence on adequate skills underlines the strategic relevance of this specific objective. SMEs have been identified as the main providers of employment in central Europe and it is important to foster locally available human skills, especially for the transition to Industry 4.0, digitalisation and a green economy. Capacities for an efficient entrepreneurial discovery process need to be improved as well as for the preparation or updating of smart specialisation strategies. Place-based development of skills is also crucial for reducing urban-rural disparities. Overall, there is the need for a just transition process that is socially responsible.

Priority 2:  Cooperating for a greener central Europe

  • SO 2.1  Supporting the energy transition to a climate-neutral central Europe
    Central Europe needs to speed up its performance related both to energy efficiency as well as the production and use of renewable energy to meet EU targets and climate objectives of the European Green Deal. Significant regional disparities between central European regions have to be tackled. Energy efficiency and renewable energy need to be promoted and exploited to reach a wider geographical coverage.

  • SO 2.2. Increasing the resilience to climate change risks in central Europe
    Resilience to climate change risks represents an important need for central Europe, especially in view of its significant environmental and socio-economic impacts. A specific territorial aspect is the need for integrated and cross-sectoral approaches to best adapt to climate change. In order to build up climate resilience, general approaches need to be locally adapted towards workable and manageable, integrated solutions which can be proliferated across the entire central Europe area.

  • SO 2.3. Taking circular economy forward in central Europe
    A climate-neutral, resource-efficient and competitive economy requires up-scaled circular approaches. This economic transformation has to pay attention to the fact that a circular economy will often require a re- arrangement of value chains, changes of interdependencies and the creation of new profit options. It is important that this socio-economic transformation happens across the entire territory of central Europe and does not concentrate on only a few regions.

  • SO 2.4. Safeguarding the environment in central Europe
    The economic and environmental significance of natural assets and landscapes in central Europe calls for a co-ordinated valorisation and protection of biodiversity and ecosystems. There is a strong need to counteract negative effects of human action through integrated environmental management approaches.

  • SO 2.5. Greening urban mobility in central Europe
    A reduction of transport emissions is one of the key targets of the European Green Deal. Smart and greener urban mobility will need an integrated response. Many functional urban areas in central Europe face similar challenges when greening their mobility. The specific territorial need lies in the vast diversity of topics (e.g. pollution and congestion) that need to be addressed in an integrated approach. Furthermore, the topic does not only include different ways of mobility, but also urban as well as urban-rural logistics.

Priority 3:  Cooperating for a better connected Europe

  • SO 3.1. Improving transport connections of rural and peripheral regions in central Europe
    The programme area is a relevant junction in Europe. This can strategically facilitate the participation in trade and increase competitiveness. Accessibility to larger transport corridors is, however, comparatively weak. There is a need to link especially peripheral regions to the nodes of the TEN-T core network corridors (CNC), to remove bottlenecks and to bridge missing transport links in order to ensure good accessibility across central Europe. Furthermore, there is the need to reduce transport emissions by 90% by 2050, which calls for smart and sustainable approaches to cross-border mobility, intermodality and the introduction of IT-supported solutions for mobility management.

Priority 4:  Improving governance for cooperation in central Europe

  • SO 4.1  Strengthening  governance  for  integrated  territorial  development  in central Europe
    Central Europe is highly heterogeneous both in territorial as well as in socio-economic terms. A multitude of challenges and barriers hinders the economic, social and territorial development in central Europe, which are not necessarily bound to specific administrative units. They rather relate to areas with functional ties that are characterised by economic, social, and environmental linkages. Addressing these territorial development challenges calls for integrated multi-level and multi-sectoral governance processes that consider functional linkages at the territorial level. There is a need to improve capacities of public authorities on all territorial levels for setting up and implementing integrated territorial development strategies. Cooperation should be encouraged within and between territories that are sharing functional ties.

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Regions / countries for fundingAustria (Österreich), Croatia (Hrvatska), Czechia (Česko), Germany (Deutschland), Hungary (Magyarország), Italy (Italia), Poland (Polska), Slovakia (Slovensko), Slovenia (Slovenija)
eligible entities
Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit),  Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME),  International organization,  Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs),  Research Institution incl. University,  Education and training institution,  Other,  Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)
Mandatory partnershipYes
Project Partnership

As minimum requirement, the partnership must involve:

  • at least three financing partners;
  • from at least three countries; and
  • at least two of the partners located in Interreg CE regions.

As a general principle, the Interreg CE Programme supports cooperation between partners located in the programme area. The geographic location of an EGTC is considered to be in the country where it is registered and its costs shall be verified according to the control system established in that Member State.

Organisations from outside the programme area can also participate in projects - but only in exceptional cases, i.e. when they qualify as:
  • Assimilated partners, i.e. German and Italian national public authorities and bodies that are located outside the programme area, which:
    • are competent in their scope of action for certain parts of the eligible area (e.g. ministries); and
    • carry out activities that are beneficial for the regions in the programme area.
  • EU partners from outside the programme area but inside the European Union. The following restrictions apply:
    • Their participation must bring clear added value and expertise to the implementation of a project and has to be beneficial for the programme area.
    • They cannot take the LP role.
    • Should activities to be carried out by these partners be considered as State aid relevant, the participation of these partners will finally not be allowed.
    • The legal status of these partners has to be confirmed by the competent national authorities of the respective Member State outside the programme area. The process to obtain such confirmation will be coordinated by the MA/JS. However, the confirmation has to be granted within 45 calendar days counted from the date of the MC funding decision for the call.
    • Their participation in a project will be subject to the condition that the respective Member State signs an agreement with the MA on the acceptance of all management, control and audit responsibilities as well as of liabilities in case of irregularities. If this agreement is not signed within 12 months from the date of the MC decision for funding, the concerned partner will be excluded from the project. In addition, the agreement shall be accompanied by a description of the national control system for the verification of expenditure incurred and paid by beneficiaries located in the respective Member State. The MA/JS will contact the relevant national authorities immediately  after the MC decision for funding projects with partners located in EU regions outside the programme area.
  • Third country partners, i.e. organisations located in countries outside the EU, can participate as associated partners but cannot receive ERDF funding from the Interreg CE Programme.
other eligibility criteria

The Interreg CE programme area stretches across nine EU Member States. It covers all regions of Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, and selected regions in Germany and Italy. Germany participates with Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thüringen and the Braunschweig region within Niedersachsen. Italy  participates with Piemonte, Valle d'Aosta, Liguria, Lombardia, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Emilia-Romagna and the autonomous provinces of Bolzano/Bozen and Trento.

Additional information

Topics Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation,  Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Soil quality,  Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management,  Arts & Culture, Cultural Heritage, Tourism,  Circular Economy, Natural Resources,  Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship,  Demographic Change, European Citizenship, Migration,  Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT,  Disaster Prevention, Resilience, Risk Management,  Education & Training, Children & Youth, Media,  Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy ,  Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion,  Health, Social Services, Sports,  Mobility & Transport,  Rural & Urban Development/Planning
Relevance for EU Macro-RegionEUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Program documents Interreg Central Europe Programme 2021-2027 (1799kB)
ContactInterreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme - Joint Secretariat
+43 (0) 1 8908 088 - 2403

Interreg Central Europe National Contact Points (NCPs)

Open calls