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

Interreg Next

Interreg NEXT programmes foster cooperation and tackle shared challenges among Member States and non-EU countries from East and South Neighbourhood region of the EU. These programmes seek to strengthen relationships, foster stability, and encourage mutual understanding between the EU and in neighbouring countries, contributing to prosperity, cooperation and overall peace in these regions.

Interact cooperates closely with the project TESIM, which has a bespoke role in supporting the external dimensions of Interreg NEXT programmes.

We seek to bring Interreg NEXT programmes and their implementation practices closer to those of the other Interreg programmes, in line with the underlying goal of harmonisation of practices ahead of enlargement.

Our objective is to support programmes in finding and building synergies for wider results and impacts, particularly within the unique framework of external cooperation. We also facilitate the discussion on the future of EU external cooperation as part of Post 2027 preparations.

Who this network is for

Interact is actively involved with Interreg NEXT programmes to shape exchanges on the Interreg dimensions of programme management. This is in cooperation with TESIM, who look after the external dimensions. All Interreg NEXT programmes are invited to participate in such activities, and additional programmes may be invited when activities are specifically relevant.

What we are working on

We work in close cooperation with TESIM, which provides direct and tailormade technical support for the implementation of these programmes  

Two events focused on the Interreg impacts of the changing geographies of cooperation are planned for 2024. The challenges focused on in this events includes the integration of new NUTS 3 regions into existing programmes, and ways this can be improved.


For more information please contact Marko Ruokangas.

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A brief history, and a changing geography

The history of Interreg NEXT programmes 2021-2027 goes back to the first years of 2000 and establishing of Neighbourhood Policies for the EU. Instrument for financing and implementing cross-border cooperation between EU Member States and partner countries, ENPI 2007-2013, was established to work under the Neighbourhood Policy.  This was further reconfirmed with the European Neighbourhood instrument ENI during 2014-2020.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, all cooperation with Russia and Belarus was suspended. This created some regions of the EU (such as those of eastern Finland) with no cooperation partners. Geographies and budgets for Interreg and Interreg NEXT programmes have since been adjusted and are a particular focus for Interact.

You can also find out more about the European Neighbourhood context here.