Because neighbours ...

Neighbourhood external cooperation programmes


Borders may be obstacles, but also opportunities. Borders may separate, but they can also connect. The external borders across the European Union are an inspiration for people to work together and make the territories on both sides greener, more prosperous, more connected, and more inclusive. The cooperation across the EU external borders aims at improving the living conditions of regional communities, by finding common solutions to common challenges.


  • 23 Member States and Partner Countries
  • 7 Interreg NEXT programmes
  • EUR 735 million EU funds (current allocation)
  • Over 2.000 km of 5 land borders
  • 2 sea basins
  • 1 sea crossing
Discover the Interreg NEXT programmes

Fresh from the field

One week to build project development skills

External border regions hungry for cooperation; potential project applicants from Partner Countries are impatient to know more, to learn, to understand. TESIM’s first four Capacity Building Weeks have come to an end, but given the high number of requests for participation that could not be met, more are planned for the near future.  The sign comes straight from the regions: territorial cooperation is seen as a great way to exploit the untapped growth potential in border areas, with the view to achieving a higher degree of territorial integration.

Latvia: transforming handicrafts from hobby to source of income

LATVIA – Latgale, the easternmost region of Latvia, is known for its rich cultural heritage and the vibrancy of crafts tradition. Trades such as pottery, woodworking, stone-cutting, knitting, and weaving continue to flourish here alongside the new forms of craftsmanship, like glass decor, porcelain, production of cosmetic products, demonstrating the evolution of traditions in response to contemporary influences and market demands. The region, sharing borders with Russia and Belarus, has developed these trades through generations, making it an integral part of its cultural identity. Crafts in Latgale are not only a way of preserving traditional customs but also a means of fostering community engagement and socio-economic activity, contributing significantly to local development.

What to do with all that waste? From grapes to beauty products

TUNISIA – Grapes, the jewels of the vineyards, yield at global level approximately 74 million tons of wine each year. Yet, alongside the production of wine comes a significant by-product: pomace — a mix of peels, seeds, and stems. Typically, this pomace meets one of two fates: animal feed or open-air fertilizer at best. However, recent research reveals a hidden treasure trove within this waste. Bursting with bioactive substances like antioxidants, pomace possesses benefits ranging from anti-aging to anti-cancer properties. The ENI CBC BESTMEDGRAPE project, spanning the Mediterranean from north to south, capitalizes on this untapped resource, blending knowledge, tradition, and innovation to empower both the grape sector and creative entrepreneurs.

Towards a circular economy in the South

How can waste reprocessing favour a circular economy and a sustainable future? Environmental considerations are at the forefront of Interreg NEXT priorities: regulations ask all programmes to devote 30% of the budget to contribute to climate targets. But making use of waste to promote a green, circular economy was also high on the agenda of ENI CBC: at the end of the programming cycle, it turns out that research was key to waste reconditioning, and it has favoured innovative solutions which are now opening market opportunities and boosting employment. The idea of a system where materials never become waste, is gaining space.

How to change cooperation after 2027?

«Is living next to a border an opportunity or a disadvantage?», «What would be the cooperation project of your dreams?» These are some of the questions that citizens and organisations involved in cooperation across EU’s external borders will be invited to answer in the coming months. In preparing for the post-2027 Interreg programmes, the European Commission has launched a twofold consultation process, to gather suggestions as to what shape Interreg should take in the next programming cycle.

Ukraine, the solidarity continues on the way to accession

It was February 24, 2022, and suddenly everything changed. Since the beginning of the Russian aggression to Ukraine, ENI CBC programmes multiplied their efforts to sustain in a way or another the tens of thousands of refugees and displaced people flooding the country and its neighbours. Projects’ efforts were not spared to feed, host, care for a population on the run. Different structures were converted into shelters, training or health centres opened the doors to fleeing families. At the same time, ENI CBC managing structures were struggling to keep afloat the on-going projects.

Joining forces for health care

Eight million inhabitants living in ten border regions across four countries: this is the area supported by the Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine (HSRU) ENI CBC Programme, a largely rural environment, where a decreasing, aging population is troubled by a higher unemployment rate and a lower economic performance compared to the national averages. In border regions, people health status is in general less favourable than in central ones, particularly for the most impoverished categories. Socioeconomically precarious citizens are always the most vulnerable, but a big segment of the population at large does not lead a health-conscious lifestyle, neither seems aware of the role of prevention. All the more reason to invest in the development of health infrastructure, services, trainings programmes, prevention activities, general public awareness. That is why – when the 2014-2020 programming cycle started – the territorial cooperation between European countries and their neighbours decided to put the health care of inhabitants from the border regions among its priorities. It was crucial to devote cooperation efforts to improve the availability and level of health services and preventive activities, and since 2014 “we have supported the implementation of health projects with 12,3 million €  – says Nikoletta Horvàth, deputy head of the programme’s Managing Authority – which represent close to 20% of the total available funds”. 

Next Programmes

Seven Interreg NEXT (Neighbourhood External) programmes have been approved in 2022, for a (current) envelope of 735 million EUR. Five of them involve Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, highlighting the key role of the Eastern partners in facing the consequences of the Russian aggression. Cooperation in the South remains also a priority for the Union.

ENI CBC Programmes

A total of 16 programmes will be implemented under ENI CBC. They cover 12 land borders, one sea crossing and three sea basins, stretching from Finland and Russia in the north, to countries like Hungary and the Ukraine in the east, and Italy, Northern Africa and the Middle East in the south.
Here you will find news and information on each programme, including the programme strategy and participating countries.

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ENI CBC/Interreg NEXT enhance cooperation between EU Member States and Neighbouring countries

7 days ago

💦𝙋𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝘽𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙎𝙚𝙖 𝘽𝙖𝙨𝙞𝙣 𝙬𝙚𝙩𝙡𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙨⚔️𝙂𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙘 𝙘𝙪𝙡𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚: 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙣𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙞𝙧 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙙 𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮🐟𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙢𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨𝙩𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙤 𝙫𝙖𝙡𝙪𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙙𝙪𝙘𝙩𝙨...CHECK the 3️⃣0️⃣ new #enicbc projects in our virtual exhibition! 👉 though this is the last update with #enicbc project posters, we are not saying good-bye. We are already thinking of a new revamping: get ready to know the first #InterregNEXT projects! ... See MoreSee Less
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1 week ago

A record number of applications - 6️⃣3️⃣1️⃣ - was received by the Interreg NEXT MED Programme in response to its first call for proposals, which closed on 30 May. The project proposals, requesting 1,5 billion euro, involve 3.930 organisations from all 15 participating countries of the Programme. 👁️Take a closer look at the first outcomes of the call 👉 ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

🌉#Interreg programmes tackle challenges and build ties also across the #Eu external borders. 𝘽𝙚𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙨 𝙢𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧! #healthontheborderplua YEP MED Interreg NEXT Poland - Ukraine ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

🔒How is the closure of #ENICBC programmes going? This morning, #TESIM together with EU REGIO Interreg, have organised an online event with a Q&A session, dedicated to the financial and technical aspects of the programmes' final reports, to support Managing Authorities on their way to closure. Many questions were raised and answered during the session by the 100 participants, such as:🛑 Which activities can be linked to programme closure? 🛑 What to do with suspended projects? 🛑 How to report on expenditures?🛑 Is the submission extension possible? Thanks to all the participants for the high engagement.Kolarctic CBC Karelia CBC Programme South-East Finland - Russia CBC Programme Cross-Border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 Estonian EU external border programme 2014-2020 2014-2020 Cross-border Cooperation Programme in Lithuania ENI CBC Programme 2014-2020 Poland-Russia CBC Programme 2014-2020 Interreg NEXT Romania-Ukraine Interreg NEXT Poland - Ukraine Interreg NEXT Romania-Republica Moldova Interreg VI A NEXT Hungary Slovakia Romania Ukraine Black Sea Basin CBC Programme Italie Tunisie IEV CT Interreg NEXT MED Programme ... See MoreSee Less
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