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Cross-border cooperation over mountain and sea!

The Botnia-Atlantica programme is a cross-border cooperation programme intended to co-fund projects within the Botnia-Atlantica area. The programme is one of several European territorial Cooperation programmes, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. A similar cooperation was earlier carried out under the Interreg heading. The Kvarken-MittSkandia Interreg IIA and IIIA programmes were implemented 1995-1999 and 2000-2006 respectively.

The new Botnia-Atlantica programme covers a larger area than the Kvarken-MittSkandia programmes. The area includes the regions Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia and Satakunta in Finland, Västerbotten and Västernorrland as well as the municipality of Nordanstig in Sweden and the Nordland region in Norway. The regions Southern Ostrobothnia in Finland and Gävleborg (except Nordanstig) in Sweden participate as adjacent areas in the programme.

The programme was allocated 30,4 milj € by Finland and Sweden of their share of funds for cross border cooperation. The programme is also funded by 2,8 milj € from the Norwegian government. Additionally there is a regional co-funding from the three countries of similar size as the above mentioned. The total budget of the programme is consequently 66,6 milj €.

A proposal for the programme has been worked out by the participating regions on a regional level. The proposal has been appraised by the governments of the three countries and sent to the European Commission on the 27th of May 2007. The European Commission appraised the programme on the 29th of November 2007.

The programme gives possibilities to finance projects within six themes:
o environment
o communications
o cohesion
o competence
o business
o society
The programme document will give more specific information on the themes.

The programme will finance projects between the participating regions. Projects between Finland and Sweden, between Sweden and Norway, between Finland and Norway and between all three countries are possible. In every project there must be participation from at least one region in each of two countries.

Normal projects (called establishing projects in the programme) can have a lifetime of maximum three years. Innovative projects, for maximum one year, can be carried out to test new ideas and new partnerships. Successful innovative projects can be followed by normal projects. There will also be a support for creation of new cross border networks.

Every project shall have a joint development, a joint funding, a joint staff and a joint implementation across the border/borders. A lead partner has the responsibility for the project and will handle the EU-money. A project need a national public co-funding of the same amount added to the EU-funding.

The programme is managed by the management authority, located at the County Administration of Västerbotten. Information, assessment of applications and follow up of projects will be carried out by the joint secretariat.