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Brussels, 6 February 2008

Cross-border Territorial Cooperation: Belgium-France

1. Operational Programme for Cross-border Cooperation Belgium-France 2007-2013 -"INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen Programme" - Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

[ Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED ]

2. Overview

On 15 November 2007, the European Commission approved a European Territorial Cooperation Programme for cross-border cooperation between Belgium and France for the 2007-2013 period.

The "INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen” Programme involves Community support for the 15 NUTS III border areas in both countries as well as 17 NUTS III areas within the European Territorial Cooperation Objective framework. The total budget of the Programme is just over €248 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to just over €138 million.

3. Purpose and aim of the programme

The "INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen” Programme is the fourth in a consecutive series of cross-border cooperation Programmes between the two countries – within the framework of the INTERREG Community Initiatives for the periods 1990-93, 1994-99 and 2000-06. The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to the realisation of the potential for sustainable economic development of the border area.

4. Expected impact of the investments

The Programme will employ indicators applicable to each priority, which allow for the evaluation of the future impact of the Programme on economic development, well-being of the population, the environment as well as on the identity of the Programme area.

The Programme will help reduce the negative effects of the administrative frontiers that separate the fields of research, trade, employment, social care, culture, risk prevention and risk management.

5. Priorities

The following priorities represent the structure of the Operational Programme “INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen”:

Priority 1: Economic development [approximately 31.3% of total funding]

Specific objectives of this priority include:

• support to businesses, business support- and research organisations as well as training and human resources institutions to stimulate economic development, employment and innovation

• identifying and supporting centres of excellence across the border area

• Creating an image of the region as an attractive area for economic development.

Priority2: Develop the region's identity through culture and tourism [approximately 30.0% of total funding]

Specific objectives of this priority include:

• increasing awareness of the area

• attracting visitors to discover both sides of the border.

Both sides of the border offer numerous cultural and tourist attractions. Projects that contribute to developing a common identity in the area by promoting it towards the rest of Europe will receive financial support. The objective is to increase awareness about the area and to attract visitors who will discover both sides of the border (linked to the First World War, inland waterway tourism, industrial heritage tourism etc.).

Priority 3: Improve the service facilities accessible to the border population [approximately 12.6% of total funding]

This priority seeks to improve the range of services accessible to the population regardless of the fact that there is an administrative border between the neighbouring Member States. Therefore, this specific measure will develop joint infrastructures, joint equipment and joint services. The intention of this measure is to cover all aspects of everyday life, most notably the sectors of health care, social care, culture and education.

Priority 4: Joint management of the territory and living environment [approximately 20.2% of total funding]

The focus of this priority is to safeguard the environment in the border area and to promote sustainable urban and rural development. Significant natural resources can be found in the border area but also some high-risk activities that need to be managed jointly across the border. Several densely populated urban centres make-up the area as well as large rural areas with scarce populations. Both categories require joint attention.

Priority 5: Technical assistance [approximately 6.0% of total funding]

To implement the Programme, financial support will be available for administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

6. Managing Authority: Région Wallonne – Bruxelles, Belgium

The institution in charge of the overall implementation of the Programme is the Region of Wallonia in Belgium. Wallonia already performed this task during the previous 2000-2006 Programme. This time, the Joint Technical Secretariat situated in Namur, Belgium will provide the necessary support to fulfilling the assignment.

Contact details:

Région Wallonne

Direction pour les Relations extérieures

Inspecteur Général, Mr Jean-Pierre Robbeets

Place Sainctelette 2
1080 Bruxelles

Telephone: + 32 2 421 86 29
Fax: + 32 2 421 86 71


7. Title: Cross-border Territorial Cooperation Programme “INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen”

Intervention type: Operational Programme

CCI No.: 2007CB163PO063

No. of decision: C/2007/5458 final

Final approval date: 15/11/2007

8. Breakdown of finances by priority (in Euros)

EU Contribution
National Public Contribution
Total Public Contribution
1. Economic Development
43 187 721
35 335 409
78 523 130
2. Territory's identity
41 364 901
33 844 010
75 208 911
3. Belonging to a common space
17 371 135
11 580 757
28 951 892
4. Sustainable management
27 921 574
22 844 924
50 766 498
5. Technical assistance
8 288 000
6 781 091
15 069 091
138 133 331
110 386 191
248 519 522

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