Interreg Co-funded by the European Union

Cross-border Cooperation Programmes in Türkiye

Cross-border Cooperation Programmes are financial instruments aimed at promoting cooperation for balanced development in the common border areas of EU countries, between third countries with borders to EU member states, and within the regions of the Union. The Cross-border Cooperation Programmes, which are tools of both the EU Regional Policy and the European Neighborhood Policy, aim to support cooperation for economic and social development in border regions.

While cross-border cooperation programmes among member states are financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under Structural Funds, the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and the Neighborhood, Development, and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) are used to support cross-border cooperation in candidate and potential candidate countries located at the external borders of the EU and in third countries not members of the EU.

Our country, which has been negotiating EU membership, has participated in two cross-border cooperation programmes for nearly 15 years: the IPA Bulgaria-Türkiye Cross-border Cooperation Programme and the Black Sea Basin Cross-border Cooperation Programme. In addition to these two programmes, participation in the Interreg NEXT Mediterranean Sea Basin Cross-border Cooperation Programme has been ensured for the period 2021-2027.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate for European Union Affairs is the National Authority for Cross-border Cooperation Programmes in Türkiye.

Our country, in managing these programs, adheres to the same rules as participating member states, and through a joint management model, shares equal authority with all participating countries, managing the programs collaboratively with both participating countries and the European Commission. As these programs are governed by the rules applicable to EU member states, our country acts as if it were a "member state," independent of Türkiye-EU political relations. Within this framework, Cross-border Cooperation Programmes, including design, programming, management, and implementation, are the sole responsibility of our Directorate as a single EU fund. Cross-border Cooperation Programmes are smoothly conducted in collaboration with participating countries, independent of Türkiye-EU political relations.

Under these programmes, approximately 300 projects have been implemented in program regions in both periods, focusing on areas such as environmental protection, sustainable tourism, sustainable development, and support for businesses and entrepreneurship. 

INTERREG IPA Bulgaria-Türkiye Cross-border Cooperation Programme

The program aims to achieve sustainable and balanced development based on the strengths of both countries in the Bulgaria-Türkiye Cross-border Cooperation region, serving a stronger European cooperation and integration. The Managing Authority of the programme is the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works of Bulgaria, and the National Authority is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for European Union Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye. The programme covers Edirne and Kırklareli regions in Türkiye and Haskovo, Yambol, and Burgas administrative regions in Bulgaria. The Joint Secretariat, located in Haskovo, Bulgaria, conducts public awareness activities related to the program and supports the implementation of the program by assisting the Managing Authority and National Authority. The Joint Secretariat Support Office is located in Edirne.

Within the framework of this programme, which is carried out under the Regulations of European Regional Cooperation, a total of 136 projects were implemented with a budget of 32.1 million euros during the 2007-2013 period, under the priority axes of "Sustainable Social and Economic Development" and "Improving Quality of Life." In the 2014-2020 period, a fund of 29.6 million euros was allocated, supporting projects under the priorities of environmental protection and sustainable tourism.

The budget allocated for the implementation of the programme in the 2014-2020 period is approximately 30 million euros. During this period, 101 projects were implemented. Among these projects, the "Cross-border Cooperation for Blue Growth" project, conducted in partnership with Burgas Prof. Dr. Asen Zlatarov University and Trakya University, stands out with a budget of approximately 3.3 million euros.

For the period 2021-2027, the total budget of the program is 34.5 million euros, and among the priorities are:

PO2 - A greener and lower carbon Europe,

PO5 - A Europe closer to its citizens,

ISO2 - A safer and more secure Europe.

The first call for proposals within the scope of PO5 priority was announced in May 2023, and the detailed project call for selected project ideas will be published in March 2024.

The first call for proposals for SMEs under the PO2 priority was announced in November 2023, and applications are still ongoing.

85% of the program's budget is provided from EU funds, and the national co-financing provided equally by Bulgaria and Türkiye corresponds to 15% of the approved budget of the project partners.

INTERREG NEXT Black Sea Basin Cross-border Cooperation Programme

Implemented under the European Union's Neighborhood Policy, the Programme is a multilateral cooperation programme in which our country participates with IPA funds.

Including Türkiye, as well as Bulgaria, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, and Greece, a total of 8 countries were involved in the programme, with a budget of 38 million euros allocated for the 2007-2013 period. Within the framework of priorities such as supporting cross-border partnerships for economic and social development, combining resources and competencies for environmental protection, and supporting cultural and educational initiatives, 59 projects were implemented in total, with 37 of them from Türkiye.

For the 2014-2020 period, the total budget of the programme was 53.9 million euros, and financing was provided for a total of 55 projects, with 28 Turkish partnerships, under the priorities of promoting businesses and entrepreneurship and environmental protection.

For the period 2021-2027, the total budget of the programme is 94 million euros, with priorities:

A more competitive and smarter Europe, A greener, lower carbon Europe, A Europe focused on better collaboration management. The program's implementation area includes the following provinces from Türkiye: Istanbul, Tekirdağ, Edirne, Kırklareli, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Düzce, Bolu, Yalova, Zonguldak, Karabük, Bartın, Kastamonu, Çankırı, Sinop, Samsun, Tokat, Çorum, Amasya, Trabzon, Ordu, Giresun, Rize, Artvin, Gümüşhane.

INTERREG NEXT Mediterranean Sea Basin Cross-border Cooperation Programme

The Mediterranean Sea Basin Cross-border Cooperation Programme is a multinational programme for which our country has been preparing, including the period 2021-2027, providing funding for projects with cross-border impact. In addition to our country, the programme includes the participation of France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia.

The program's activity area in our country will cover the provinces of Tekirdağ, Edirne, Kırklareli, Balıkesir, Çanakkale, İzmir, Aydın, Denizli, Muğla, Manisa, Afyonkarahisar, Kütahya, Uşak, Antalya, Isparta, Burdur, Adana, Mersin, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, and Osmaniye.

For the period 2021-2027 the priorities of the programme are;

  • A more competitive and smarter Mediterranean 
  • A greener, low-carbon and resilient Mediterranean 
  • A more social and inclusive Mediterranean
  • A better cooperation governance for the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Sea Basin Cross-border Cooperation Programme, in which Türkiye is participating for the first time in the period 2021-2027, has a budget of 281 million euros, making it one of the EU's highest-budget cross-border cooperation programmes. The first call for proposals, with a budget of 103 million euros, was announced on December 15, 2023, and the deadline for the applications is April 30, 2024.