The Transnational Strand of INTERREG: Shifting Paradigm in INTERREG North-West Europe (NWE): From Spatial Planning Cooperation to Thematic Cooperation

  • Rudolf (Ruut) Louwers
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


This chapter presents a summary of some important achievements and challenges of the implementation of the NWE INTERREG-B programme from 2000 until the present. In short, our analysis concludes that this programme was instrumental to improvements in issues where “soft” measures and “hard” investments met each other, like the adaptation of water management and its spatial planning to climate change. It also shows that the change of paradigm, in this case from Spatial Planning cooperation to Thematic Cooperation, constitutes an important challenge for an existing structure. The adaptation of stakeholders or target groups takes time, but with time it can be done successfully. Furthermore, the conclusions have led to some first thinking exercises about the post-2020 structuring of cooperation. This thinking must be considered as a personal contribution to the debate. Issues which in our view need attention in this debate are: the explicit agreement by the whole governance with the aim of such a financial cooperation tool; the prevention of overlaps, both thematic and geographic; the adaptation of the structure to the needs of border-crossing cooperation projects instead of projects adapting to (outdated) programme structures.


North-West Europe Transnational cooperation INTERREG-B Territorial cooperation Post-2020 Future ETC 


  1. Böhm H, and partner (2000) Infrastuktur & Umwelt, On-going evaluation of the IRMA-Programme. Darmstadt/PotsdamGoogle Scholar
  2. Böhme K, Gløersen E (2011) Territorial cohesion storylines: understanding a policy concept. Spatial Foresight Briefing, 2011:1, Luxembourg.
  3. Davoudi, S, Ellison P, Evans N (2009) Towards a framework for action. Leeds Metropolitan UniversityGoogle Scholar
  4. EC (1999) European spatial development perspective: towards a balanced and sustainable development of the territory of the European Union. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  5. EC (2010) EUROPE 2020. A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  6. ESPON Climate (2011) Climate change and territorial effects on regions and local economies. Final Report, Version 31/5/2011, ESPON, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  7. ESPON INTERCO (2012) Indicators of territorial cohesion; Scientific Platform and Tools Project 2013/3/2; Final Report Part B| Report, ESPON, Luxembourg, 2012Google Scholar
  8. ESPON TerrEvi (2013) Evidence Report, North West Europe, Final Report, ESPON, LuxembourgGoogle Scholar
  9. Laman J (2002) Flood defence along the Rhine and the Meuse, the IRMA-programme: preliminary results and recommendations. Presses universitaires François-RabelaisGoogle Scholar
  10. LRDP (2000) L’évaluation du programme région métropolitaine du nord-ouest de l’Europe d’Interreg IIC. LRDP, ParisGoogle Scholar
  11. Medeiros E (2016) Territorial cohesion: an EU concept. European J Spat Dev 60. Available from: Online publication date: April 2016
  12. PANTEIA (2010) INTERREG III community initiative (2000–2006), ex-post evaluation. Panteia and partners, Final Report, ZoetermeerGoogle Scholar
  13. Zonneveld W, de Vries ‎J, Janssen-Jansen ‎L (eds) (2012) European territorial governance. Housing and urban policy studies, vol 35. Delft University Press, p 356Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INTERREG North-West Europe (NWE) ProgrammeLilleFrance

Personalised recommendations