The STRING network partner regions from Hamburg via Denmark to Skåne are benefiting from the funding offered by different European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) Programmes today and in the future. However, in the current funding period none of the existing programme areas fully corresponds to the functional region of the corridor geographically. In order to increase the impact of the funding programmes for STRING projects and endeavors, a new orientation from projects towards processes in regional development has to be established. Interconnections between thematic action, the geographic area and the funding source have to be stimulated. Therefore, the STRING network wants to put forward the following points that should be taken into account for the upcoming funding period 2014-2020:
• To create funding mechanisms that are suitable to meta-regional development: (a) adding Meta-Regions as special funding spaces below the level of macro-regional cooperation into the ETC regulation, (b) respecting meta-regional relevance as core selection criteria for projects in the framework of the relevant B-programmes, (c) stimulating cooperation between projects of different INTERREG programmes, (d) canvassing the option of self-administered subprograms.
• To preserve a wide spectrum of topics eligible for funding within ETC programmes, so that specific regional requirements can be taken into account at the level of the individual programmes.
• To accept the integration of the private sector as fully eligible project partners.
• To decrease the administrative burden significantly so that resources can be better employed for thematic work rather than bureaucracy and the funding programmes would become even more attractive to potential candidates (e.g. simple standard forms all across Europe, considerable reduction of workload in terms of reporting and auditing)
• To accept no transfer of funding proportions between different INTERREG strands and programmes; STRING supports the raised budget for ETC programmes by additional 4.2 Mio. €in the current ERDF budget proposal.
For further information, please see the STRING Position paper on EU Funding