The Role of European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) in EU Cohesion Policy

  • Eduardo Medeiros
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Acting on its own initiative, the European Commission has launched a series of Community Initiatives since 1988, to solve specific problems of significant interest to the European Union. Amongst these Initiatives were the INTERREG, launched in 1990, with the goal of preparing European border areas for a Community without internal borders. In 2007, this Initiative was formally named European Territorial Cooperation and became one of the major goals of EU Cohesion Policy. Even so, and despite supporting cross-border, transnational and interregional cooperation processes since 2000, financial support for European Territorial Cooperation programmes has always been kept below the 3% of the total financial package dedicated to EU Cohesion Policy. In this context, this chapter synthetically discusses the role and main effects of the European Territorial Cooperation process over the last 27 years, and why it should be given a more important and central role for a post-2020 EU Cohesion Policy. More concretely, based on a long experience of evaluating both the INTERREG and EU Cohesion Policy, we suggest that the European Territorial Cooperation goal should be placed at the heart of EU Cohesion Policy, by highlighting the transnational level of policy intervention, and by increasing support to cross-border cooperation processes with more specific policy goals: reducing persisting barriers and implementing cross-border planning strategies.


European territorial cooperation European union cohesion policy Cross-Border cooperation Transnational cooperation Interregional cooperation 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Estudos Geográficos (CEG)—Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT)Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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