Central Baltic Programme expects expansion and funding increase

In the wake of the military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and the subsequent suspension of Interreg NEXT funding programmes involving Russia and Belarus, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making strategic adjustments to address the evolving geopolitical landscape. These changes have significant implications for the Central Baltic Programme as increased resources and an expanded geographical scope.

The Central Baltic programme’s modification has received approval from the programme Monitoring Committee. The Committee, composed of key stakeholders and experts, has carefully examined and endorsed the modifications, recognising the urgency of the situation and the need to reallocate ERDF funds.

Geographical expansion: welcoming new regions

One of the most important aspects of this modification is the enlargement of the Programme’s geographical area. This expansion will include the integration of two additional regions, namely Etelä-Savo in Finland and Latgale in Latvia. These regions share important characteristics and objectives with the existing programme regions and the incorporation of these regions supports the programme’s strategy and overall effectiveness.

Substantial funding boost

Equally noteworthy is the substantial increase in funding for the Central Baltic Programme by almost 30 MEUR. This means that more calls for funding for project proposals are on their way from next year, offering opportunities for cross-border development and collaboration.

It is important to emphasise that these changes have been specifically designated for the period from 2021 to 2027.

The next step in this process involves submitting the proposal to the European Commission for approval, expected to take place during September of this year, 2023.

Path forward: submission to the European Commission

The official decision from the European Commission regarding the Central Baltic Programme’s modification is expected by the end of 2023.

The Central Baltic Programme is and will continue to be, at full speed to allocate the ERDF funding to create positive change in our regions. This commitment to fostering regional growth and cooperation reflects the resilience and adaptability of the European Union in the face of changing circumstances, ensuring that regional development remains a top priority.