The Commission has decided to transfer €135 million of the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, originally planned for 2021-2027 Interreg NEXT programmes with Russia and Belarus, to other Interreg programmes with Ukraine and Moldova.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira said: “The decision to cancel the originally envisaged cooperation with Russia and Belarus through our Interreg programmes is the result of the brutal war of Russia against Ukraine. I am glad that the funds we had initially planned for this cooperation will now benefit the EU's programmes with Ukraine and Moldova. This will help strengthen collaboration between EU regions and local stakeholders with Ukrainian and Moldovan partners.”
Concretely, this funding may support a range of activities, including Solidarity Lanes and the development of cross-border transport links, health services, education and research projects, social inclusion schemes, as well as reinforcing the institutional capacity of Ukrainian and Moldovan public authorities. Involvement in Interreg programmes also brings administrative capacity benefits and experience to both countries in the management and implementation of EU funds.
Following the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and in line with the measures adopted by the EU, in March 2022, the Commission had initially suspended cooperation with Russia and its ally Belarus in Interreg programmes. This led to €26 million being redistributed to support cooperation programmes with Ukraine and Moldova. This decision redistributes the remaining funding from the 2021-2027 period in the same manner.
The Commission has also decided that regions in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Poland which were supposed to participate in cooperation programmes with Russia and Belarus may participate in other existing Interreg programmes.
- Publication date
- 16 August 2023
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations