The South East Europe Programme aims to develop transnational partnerships on matters of strategic importance, in order to improve the territorial, economic and social integration process and to contribute to cohesion, stability and competitiveness of the region. For this purpose, the Programme seeks to realize high quality, result oriented projects of strategic character, relevant for the programme area.
The South East Europe Programme helps to promote better integration between the Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries and neighbouring countries. Regional cooperation in South East Europe is essential, regardless of the different stage of integration of the various countries. The stability, prosperity and security of the region are of significant interest to the EU.
A TRANSNATIONAL APPROACH TO TERRITORIAL DEVELOPMENT AND INTEGRATION
Transnational cooperation programmes encourage a sustainable and balanced development of the European territory.
Although trans-national cooperation is not easy, it can often be the most effective way of achieving results. This is because trans-national cooperation provides a tool for the kind of lateral thinking we need to innovate. It brings forward new ideas that would never see light of day under normal circumstances. It is important to underline that the trans-national dimension is not simply "an optional extra" for a few actors. It is an integral part of all the partners' work. We can all learn from each other - provided that partners exist. This is why the Commission considers that all Member States should participate in transnational cooperation.
Vladimir Špidla, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities
The general aim of transnational cooperation is to foster a balanced territorial development and territorial integration within the cooperation area. This will be achieved by increasing cooperation across member states on matters of strategic importance. Transnational cooperation concentrates on the following priority areas, which are in line with the Lisbon and Gothenburg agendas: Innovation, Environment, Accessibility and Sustainable Urban Development.
There are 13 transnational cooperation programmes active in the 2007- 2013 programming period. What differentiates the South East Europe Programme is not only the number of countries participating in it, 16 countries, which makes it the programme with the largest cooperation area, but also the diversity of the participating countries.
The programme's global objective is to improve the territorial, economic and social integration process in South East Europe and contribute to cohesion, stability and competitiveness of the area through the development of transnational partnerships and joint action on matters of strategic importance.
In addition, the SEE Transnational Cooperation Programme will actively seek the full participation of non-Member States in the programme area benefitting from the external Pre-Accession Assistance and the European Neighbourhood Policy funding. The programme area is located at the South Eastern edge of the Union, where several accession candidate countries and potential candidate countries as well as third countries engaged in the EU partnership framework are concentrated, thus going far beyond the external borders of the EU.
The global objective of the programme is supported by the following specific objectives:
1. The programme shall facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge economy and information society by concrete co-operation action and visible results.
2. The programme shall improve the attractiveness of regions and cities taking into account sustainable development, physical and knowledge accessibility and environmental quality by integrated approaches and concrete cooperation action and visible results.
3. The programme shall foster integration by supporting balanced capacities for transnational territorial cooperation at all levels.
The global and specific objectives of the Operational Programme will be pursued through Priority Axes, which contribute differently to the specific programme objectives:
Priority Axis 1 : Facilitation of innovation and entrepreneurship
Priority Axis 2: Protection and improvement of the environment
Priority Axis 3: Improvement of the accessibility
Priority Axis 4: Development of transnational synergies for sustainable growth areas
Click here to read more about the programme priorities.