Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) is part of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), whose main objective is to support progress towards "an area of shared prosperity and good neighbourliness" between EU Member States and their neighbours.
While the ENI targets external relations with neighbouring countries as a whole, CBC puts the focus on equal cooperation across the EU external borders at local and regional level.
16 different ENI CBC programmes have been identified along the EU’s external border in the 2014-2020 financing period. They follow up on the work done by ENPI CBC within the previous financing period 2007-2013. These programmes range from the North to the South and currently include 18 EU member states, 16 neighbouring Partner Countries as well as Norway, Turkey and Russia.
The management of the 16 CBC programmes has been entrusted to Member States in a system where Neighbouring Partner Countries and Member States participate on an equal footing. They take joint decisions on how to spend the money within the identified priorities and on the specific projects to be financed. The role of the European Commission and of DG NEAR in particular is to monitor the programme implementation. CBC is a true partnership programme with full ownership by the participating countries.
The main beneficiaries of the CBC projects are local and regional administrations, NGOs and civil society organisations – from women’s groups to chambers of commerce – from both EU Member States and Neighbouring Partner Countries. They develop and submit their project proposals in a bottom up approach.
Participating countries in each programme define their specific priorities reflecting the common challenges they face in their respective regions. All these priorities fit in the 3 overarching strategic objectives as follows:
- Promote economic and social development.
- Address common challenges in environment, public health, safety and security.
- Promote better conditions and modalities for ensuring the mobility of persons, goods and capital. The promotion of local cross-border people to people actions is applied where relevant in pursuing the above objectives.
To reinforce cooperation between EU Member States and Partner Countries along the external EU borders.