Cooperation can be complex;
our job is to make it easier.

Harmonisation and simplification

Supporting programmes to harmonise and simplify their work is a core task of Interact.

Harmonisation means creating shared practices within Interreg. With shared practices it becomes easier for project partners to work with us. It is also easier for programmes to exchange knowledge and experiences, as well as for Interreg practicioners to move between programmes without having to learn everything all over again. Harmonisation requires us to change our own approaches, to work towards a shared way of working.

Simplification, in Interreg, is seeking to make it easier to work with Interreg. This includes reducing the administrative burden particularly, but applies more widely to ensure the approach to implementation is as smooth as possible. Simplification makes programmes more efficient, benefiting the programmes, the beneficiaries and the other bodies involved in programmes.

Harmonisation without simplification can lead to bad practices, simplification without harmonisation can lead to a confused environment for everyone working in or with Interreg.

Where to start

These HIT packages, co-created with the HIT core group, are useful starting points as they are harmonised best practice. The packages cover the various stages of the project life cycle and are legally strong, having been tested and adopted by the HIT core group and wide community.

Two of the strongest levers for programmes wanting to harmonise and simplify their programme management are Simplified Cost Options and risk-based management verifications.

What we are working on

Efforts to harmonise and simplify programme management don't stop with HIT, it requires constant effort to ensure we are implementing efficiently and are therefore attractive to beneficiaries, without too loose a control on our beneficiaries.

We will explore leaner reporting structures at the Interreg Knowledge Fair, as well as how the harmonised system can better embrace sustainability. An additional session is planned to look at how harmonisation and simplification can still be completed in this period, building on the HIT packages.


For more information please contact Pieter Louwers.

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