Cross-border cooperation initiatives, which first started in Northern Europe in the 1950s, and especially in the Rhine Basin, were supported by the EU in the 1990s as part of its integration strategy. Cross-border cooperation programmes envisage cooperation for balanced development in the common border regions of EU countries, between the border regions of EU member states and third countries with borders, and between the regions within the Union itself. Cross-border cooperation programmes, which are one of the tools of the European Neighborhood Policy as well as the EU Regional Policy, contribute to the development of border regions, while also being conducive to the fusion of different cultures and societies.
Cross-border cooperation programmes involving EU member states are financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Structural Funds, while the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance supports cross-border cooperation in candidate and potential candidate countries located at the external borders of the EU and in non-EU third countries two financial instruments are used, namely (IPA) and European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). As a negotiating country for EU membership, Türkiye benefits from IPA funds. Under the Cross-border Cooperation, which is the second component of IPA, Türkiye participates in two programmes, the Bulgaria-Turkey Cross-border Cooperation Programme and the ENPI Black Sea Basin Cross-Border Cooperation Programme. In addition to these two programmes, our country is planning to benefit from the Interreg NEXT Mediterranean Basin Cross-Border Cooperation Program in the 2021-2027 period. It is envisaged that the implementation of the Mediterranean Basin Cross-Border Cooperation Program will start as of the first three months of 2023, and then the first calls for proposals will be published on these dates.
Directorate for EU Affairs is the National Authority of cross-border cooperation programmes in Türkiye.