Transnational and cross-border cooperation play a central role in EU Cohesion Policy. The European Territorial Objective, one of three overall objectives of EU Cohesion Policy, and the programmes initiated to reach this objective have had an important impact on cooperation and networking across borders in the Nordic countries. Nordregio Working Paper 2012:14.
In the new EU programming period 2014-2020, there will be a greater demand for thematic concentration within the cross-border and transnational programmes. The European Commission calls for a closer coordination between the five different EU funds. Each of the CSF Funds shall support a limited number of thematic objectives in order to contribute to the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Nordregio has been commissioned by the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Regional Policy (EK-R), to develop a method which could facilitate the selection of themes and ensure territorial added value in the coming programming areas involving the Nordic countries.
The process of concentrating resources, while at the same time coordinating actions with a number of strategies and other funding programmes, makes the added value of the impact of cross-border and transnational cooperation programmes even more vital than ever. Thus through this assignment guidelines will be set up that programme areas can use to concentrate their resources and priorities within the ETC Objective.