Interact is an experienced international team who are passionate about cooperation. Cooperation can be complex; Interact's job is to make it easier.
Interact ensures the exchange of experience, information and innovation in order to promote best practice and make cooperation easier. This is delivered through targeted events (in-situ and virtual), publications and other tools such as online courses. Interact also provides a jointly developed monitoring system called 'Jems' (Joint Electronic Monitoring System).
Interact offers its services free of charge to cooperation programmes under the European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) objective of Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 - known as Interreg. Services are also designed to support cooperation with mainstream programmes, macro-regional strategies as well as other cooperation actors.
Interact's working area includes all the Member States of the European Union, as well as Norway and Switzerland, as well as programmes in pre-accession and European Neighbourhood countries. Until the formal start of the 2021-2027 period, it continues to support cooperation programmes who work with the United Kingdom.
Interact is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and its participating countries (28 Member States plus Norway and Switzerland).
Interact has an atypical structure for an Interreg programme. The Managing Authority and Interact Secretariat are both based in Bratislava and run the programme. Four Interact offices are the sole beneficiaries of the programme, and they are based in Turku (Finland), Valencia (Spain), Viborg (Denmark) and Vienna (Austria).
Overall programme coordination is ensured by the Interact Secretariat and the Managing Authority located in Bratislava, Slovakia, which is also the home of the Certifying Authority and the Audit Authority.
The Monitoring Committee (MC) consists of the 28 Member States, Norway and Switzerland.
Interact programme history
Interact I (2002-2006) primarily focused on the immediate needs to support the Interreg initiative. It provided support for the implementation of the three strands of Interreg (Cross-border, Transnational and Interregional programmes) to increase efficiency, effectiveness and quality. Unlike the current programme, Interact funded projects to develop local and regional initiatives and contribute to the development of the institutions involved in Interreg.
Interact II (2007-2013) went on to support the Interreg community as well as IPA and ENPI CBC programmes (EU external borders). In order to do so, Interact developed harmonised tools (HIT, eMS, KEEP, European Cooperation Day, Interreg branding) and innovative ways of cooperation such as macro-regional strategies.
Interact III (2014-2020) further formalised Interact's role in supporting cooperation in all its forms. The focus of the programme is on thematic objective 11 – namely, Capacity Building – with three specific objectives, to: improve the management capacity of Interreg programmes; improve the Interreg capacity in capturing/communicating project results, and; improve the implementation of new ways of cooperation.