Cross Border Cooperation (CBC) is a key element of the EU policy towards its neighbours. It supports sustainable development along the EU’s external borders, helps reducing differences in living standards and addressing common challenges across these borders. It was first recognised as such in the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) regulation for the period 2007-2013. This was confirmed for the period 2014-2020 in the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) regulation adopted in March 2014.
CBC promotes cooperation between EU countries and neighbourhood countries sharing a land border or sea crossing. Funding can also be provided for a programme between several EU and neighbourhood countries which, for example, are part of the same sea basin.
CBC is designed on the principles of the EU’s territorial cooperation model, but adapted to the specificities of the EU external cooperation. What characterises the CBC programmes and makes them a unique cooperation mechanism is the participating countries' strong commitment and ownership based on:
- balanced partnership between the participating countries on either side of a border: Member States and neighbouring countries have an equal say in the programme decisions and projects receive funding only if implemented by partners on both sides;
- management entrusted to a local – or national – authority in a member state, jointly selected by all countries participating in the programme;
- common legal framework and implementation rules: For the future ENI period, rules established for the ENPI CBC have been simplified and adapted based on previous experience. See the ENPI and ENI CBC Programming documents and the ENPI and ENI CBC Implementing rules.
CBC has three main objectives:
- promoting economic and social development in border areas
- addressing common challenges (environment, public health, safety and security)
- putting in place better conditions for persons, goods and capital mobility
The ENI CBC budget for the period 2014-2020 remains roughly at the same level as the ENPI CBC budget 2007-2013 with a total of EUR 1.052 billion. The CBC budget comes from two different sources: ENI and contributions from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Out of the 16 CBC ENI programmes identified in the ENI CBC Programming Document 2014-2020, 13 programmes were adopted in December 2015, and 2 more were adopted in December 2016 (Mid-Atlantic is still missing). It is to be noted that the Baltic Sea programme remains an INTERREG programme managed by DG Regional and Urban Policy and was adopted already in 2014.
Please check regularly the content of this page to keep abreast of the latest CBC developments.
For relevant information on the programme Joint Operational Porgrammes, eligible area, management structures and projects funded for the ENPI period 2007-2013 and ENI period 2014-2020, click on the programme name to access its website.
A new Technical Assistance project, i.e. "", replaces the previous Regional and Capacity Building Instrument (RCBI) and ENPI Interact projects. The objective of this project is to continue to give support to the CBC programmes on both programme and project level focusing on improving the capacity of Partner Countries to participate in the programmes.
Interested in finding out more?
People involved in CBC believe in this cooperation tool. Watch this short video to find out why:
You can also find more about the projects financed by looking at these examples.
If you have questions, please contact near-cbcec [dot] europa [dot] eu (the CBC team).