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North-West Europe

Region's countries

Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and parts of France, Germany and the Netherlands.

 

Policy framework

1.    Transnational cooperation programme

The INTERREG V B North West Europe (NWE) Programme 2014-2020 aims to promote the economic, environmental, social and territorial future of the NWE region. In particular it aims to ensure that the NWE region is a key economic player in the world and provides an attractive place to work and live with high levels of innovation, sustainability and cohesion. For the period 2014-2020 the NWE programme focuses on three priorities:

  1. Regional innovation;
  2. Shift to low-carbon economy;
  3. Preservation and optimization of material and natural resources (re)use.

Responding to challenges faced in the NWE region linked to six areas (Boosting knowledge flows to stimulate innovation; Small and Medium sized Enterprises innovative capabilities; Resource and materials efficiency; Energy security and supply; Vulnerability to climate change events; Inclusion), the programme is expected to contribute towards:

  • Smart Growth;
  • Sustainable Growth;
  • Inclusive Growth;
  • A balanced territorial development.

For the period 2014-2020, the NWE Programme has identified addressing climate change vulnerability as one of the major challenges in the programme area, due to the high urban density and the exposure of urban areas to the risk of coastal and fluvial flooding. This challenge has not been translated into a thematic priority for the programme, but has been included among the investment priorities related to the transition to a low carbon society (priority 2, and mainly the investment priority 4e), stating that ‘mitigation/adaption actions are required’.

 

2.    International conventions and other cooperation initiatives

Together with other regions, North West Europe is covered by the OSPAR ‘Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic’. In particular the western parts of its coasts are covered by the OSPAR Celtic Seas sub region. Under this convention, climate change (and ocean acidification) is addressed as a cross-cutting issue in terms of knowledge generation, monitoring of impacts and design of management options aiming at increasing ecosystem resilience.

The Benelux States (The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg), which are part of the area, are currently exploring the opportunities of a common vulnerability and risk assessment focusing on cascading effects and impacts of extreme events across the borders of the Benelux countries.

 

Examples of projects funded in the 2014–2020 period

North West Europe can rely on a wide experience of transnational cooperation projects dealing with knowledge creation and sharing on climate change adaptation funded in the previous INTERREG programming period 2007-2013, as for examples in the case of AMICE, DROP and IMCORE projects. Moreover, the complete set of eight projects dealing with climate change adaptation funded in 2007-2014 were grouped in SIC-adapt!, a strategic cluster aimed at increasing the visibility and capitalization of projects’ outcomes. However, at June 2018, none of the projects approved under the current programming period seems to directly address adaptation-related challenges.