INTERACT III is an operational programme of the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) goal, part of the interregional cooperation component and it is set up to reinforce the effectiveness of cohesion policy by promoting exchange of experience concerning the identification, transfer and dissemination of good practices and innovative approaches in relation to implementation of territorial cooperation programmes and actions concerning territorial cooperation and to the use of European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation.
INTERACT III is a programme co-financed by the ERDF and it shall cover the entire territory of the Union, Norway and Switzerland. The selection of thematic objectives is limited to one in case of INTERACT III, in order to maximise the impact of cohesion policy across the Union. This reflects the aim of the operation, to get the most out of interregional cooperation for the reinforcement of the effectiveness of cohesion policy under the Investment for growth and jobs and the European territorial cooperation goals.
INTERACT III operation is set up for Enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration, the thematic objective 11, providing to:
- address the smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of Europe 2020 Strategy by supporting Territorial Cooperation Programmes in implementing their activities in the most effective way by giving guidance and area specific expert input in solving implementation bottlenecks;
- use networking methods that support cooperation as means to contribute to the innovative integrated approach. INTERACT III Ex Ante evaluation and additional assessments of needs do set the baseline for the strategic choice made in INTERACT III programme.
The INTERACT III operational programme, while enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration focuses on 3 specific objectives:
- to improve management and control capacity of ETC programmes;
- to improve the ETC capacity in capturing and communicating the programme results;
- to improve the cooperation management capacity to implement innovative approaches (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation, Revolving Funds, macro-regional strategies, etc.)
The extensive knowledge and expertise gained since 2003 by INTERACT is its foremost asset and key to success. To keep this knowledge, INTERACT beneficiaries shall be kept and enhanced. In the meanwhile no additional operations and beneficiaries shall be selected, in the meaning of the Regulation i.e. recipients of grants. Exclusively the four decentralised beneficiaries identified for the previous INTERACT II programme will implement the programme, involving all target groups. All activities and work packages (INTERACT III will not select and implement projects in its usual ETC meaning) shall be run by these, according to an annual work plan based on the needs of the target groups, approved and monitored by the INTERACT Monitoring Committee. Therefore, INTERACT beneficiaries may be defined as those public institutions, which are entrusted by Member States to implement the whole programme, through activities carried out by their four regional offices, in respect of the management functions of the INTERACT Managing Authority. The joint human resources policy among INTERACT Offices shall also be focused on keeping and developing knowledge and skills as its foremost asset.
Main target groups will be therefore:
- Programme managers (ETC, IPA CBC, ENI CBC, all components);
- National / Regional cooperation stakeholders;
- EU-wide stakeholders, who will be addressed only as far as appropriate for the benefit of cooperation.