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Regional Cooperation

Regional Cooperation Campaign

Regional co-operation is an important part of the new relationship between the UK and EU. This includes the significant benefits of cross-border co-operation. We want to ensure that both the UK government and EU support and facilitate this.

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Regional cooperation is the cooperation with all regions within and outside the UK.  This will strengthen the UK's place in the world post Brexit. The aims of the campaign are below:

The list below shows current organisations that have signed up to the campaign.  There is also a list of documents on the value of regional cooperation in the evidence base. 

1. Acknowledgement that regional cooperation is important

We want the UK Government, businesses, and MPs to acknowledge the importance of regional cooperation. Regional co-operation includes the significant benefits of cross-border cooperation for all regions. We will achieve this by outlining how regional cooperation opens up markets.  It will also:

  • attract inward investment
  • promote project innovation
  • allow regions to collaborate on solutions to some of the key challenges facing us. For example, the potential of green technologies to address climate change issues

We understand that every region benefits from regional cooperation. As such we will gather evidence from regions across the UK. This will demonstrate how the exchange of best practice between regions has contributed to economic growth. It will also help with regional and national goals. We want to promote and stress the importance of continued cross-border regional cooperation. This is in addition to cooperation within the UK.

2. Regional cooperation is supported by both the UK Government, the EU and member states within the EU

Regional cooperation always has and always will happen organically. However it is clear that national and/or EU support for regional cooperation greatly enables this. It increases the probability of regional cooperation being strategically linked to challenges and opportunities that regions are faced with. These challenges and opportunities include:

  • economic
  • social
  • environmental 

In the past a number of dedicated EU programmes have supported regional cooperation. This includes:

  • European Interterritorial Cooperation Programme (Interreg)
  • Horizon 2020
  • Erasmus programmes. 

We want to see the UK Government put in place UK initiatives that supports UK regional stakeholders to cooperate. This includes continuing cooperation with partners across the EU and beyond. We also want the UK Government to consider that in some instances this may be done via opting-in to certain EU programmes. Examples include Erasmus and Horizon Europe. These programmes are vital to continued economic development for so many regions.

Through this campaign we want to open a pragmatic discussion. We want to understand how we can give UK regional stakeholders a platform where they can:

  • continue to cooperate with EU regions
  • establish new partnerships further afield

This will include shedding greater light on how other non-EU countries, such as Norway and Switzerland enable their regional stakeholders to engage in regional cooperation. This includes cross border cooperation. The continuation of national support for regional cooperation will allow continued transborder:

  • communication
  • investment
  • cooperation

This is between UK businesses and stakeholders with international regions.

3. Regional cooperation is facilitated by both the UK Government, the EU and Member states within the EU

This campaign also aims to secure future funding from the UK Government. This is to continue with regional cooperation after Brexit. This funding could take a number of routes from the UK buying into existing programmes already present such as:

  • Erasmus
  • Horizon 
  • Interreg

Funding may also be made available to regions and local areas as part of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. Funding for regional cooperation has been vital for local areas. It has contributed to building capacity with local fabric of NGOs, social enterprise and SMEs. These are not (yet) able to apply for bigger pots of funding. Funding for regional cooperation has often come from EU programmes. This type of funding must be replaced once the UK leaves the EU. This is to enable continued regional cooperation.

It has been announced that the UK will not continue with Interreg after the transition period. Therefore, we must know how the government plans to replace this funding and cooperation. CPMR estimated that the UK would have received €698 million towards European territorial cooperation (Interreg)in the 2021 to 2028 programme period. This funding must be added to future UK funding programmes such as UK SPF in order to ensure that regions and local areas are no worse off due to Brexit.

This campaign aims to influence decision-making and allocate funding for a UK type fund. Such a fund will enable UK regions to cooperate with long standing partners in the EU. It will also generate new partners beyond European borders.

We aim to promote our interests to the UK Government and our local MPs. We aim to do this by gathering support from as many key businesses, local authorities, and other stakeholders as possible.  This is in order to lobby for the continuation of funding for regional cooperation. The campaign also wants to ensure that future EU funding programmes do not rule out participation from partners in the UK.

Evidence library

Cornwall Council Interreg and Horizon2020 projects:

Cornwall Partnerships

Would you like to sign up to this campaign or contribute to our evidence folder? If so, or if you have any questions please contact Maxwell Green: