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Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy supports transfer of funds from EU’s cross-border cooperation programmes to internal border programmes

Government Communications DepartmentMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 4.5.2022 14.20
Press release 284/2022

In a written procedure on 4 May 2022, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy decided that regional development funds allocated in 2022 to cross-border cooperation programmes under the EU’s regional and structural policy (approximately EUR 9.5 million) will be transferred to Interreg’s internal border cooperation programmes. The reason for this transfer is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has changed the operating environment of the EU’s cross-border cooperation programmes on the Finnish-Russian border. The preparation of the Kolarctic, Karelia and South-East Finland-Russia cross-border cooperation programmes (Interreg NEXT) for the 2021–2027 programming period has been suspended.

A total of approximately EUR 112.1 million in EU funding had been allocated to these three programmes, with approximately EUR 55.5 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and approximately EUR 56.6 million from the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI). The Ministerial Committee’s decision to transfer these funds complies with EU legislation, which states that ERDF funding must be transferred to Interreg programmes implemented at the EU’s internal borders. The transfer of funds does not require changes to the Budget.

The Ministerial Committee supported the following transfers of funds in 2022:

  • The funds allocated to the Interreg NEXT Kolarctic programme (EUR 2,989,761) and to the Interreg NEXT Karelia programme (EUR 2,392,221) will be reallocated to the Interreg Aurora programme (EUR 5,381,982 in total).
  • The funds allocated to the Interreg NEXT South-East Finland-Russia programme (EUR 4,100,522) will be reallocated to the Interreg Central Baltic programme.

The targets for the remaining ERDF funds of the Interreg NEXT programmes for 2021–2027 will be revisited later.

Finland intended to participate in 11 Interreg programmes during the 2021–2027 period, three of which are cross-border cooperation programmes (Kolarctic, Karelia and South-East Finland-Russia) that are now highly likely to remain unimplemented.

Inquiries: Mari Kokko, Special Adviser to Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 40 521 2124 and Petri Haapalainen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 064 922, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment