On 11 November 2021, the Government approved Finland’s participation in the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme, an interregional co-operation programme of the European Union. This programme plays a key role in implementing the EU Baltic Sea Strategy.

The programme seeks to promote innovative, water-protective and climate-neutral solutions in the Baltic Sea region through international co-operation. The available means to this end include applying digitalisation to create new business opportunities, and developing and implementing new solutions to prevent pollution of watercourses. A further aim is to support and co-ordinate initiatives by businesses and civil society to promote a circular economy.

The programme is part of the EU regional and structural policy programming period 2021-2027, and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Total programme funding is EUR 313.6 million, of which EU funding is EUR 250.9 million.

The other Member States participating in the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme are Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. The non-EU participants are Norway and Russia, with the possible further inclusion of Belarus.

The programme was jointly prepared with the participating countries and regions. All countries participating in a programme must approve it nationally before the programme is submitted to the European Commission for approval.

Finland is participating in a total of eleven Interreg programmes, seven of which have already been approved. The national approval process for three pending Interreg programmes to be implemented along the eastern border of Finland (Kolarctic, Karelia and South-East Finland – Russia) will begin in early 2022.

Source: Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment