Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC)

CBC, a key priority of the ENI, seeks to reinforce cooperation between EU Member States and Partner Countries along the external EU borders

Timeframe: 2014-2020

Budget: €1.052 billion

Member States*: Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, United Kingdom.
Neighbouring partner countries*: Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria**.
Other countries: Russia, Turkey and Norway.
* The United Kingdom, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Libya do not participate.
** All cooperation with Syria is currently suspended 
Working across borders to bring people together
Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) is part of the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), whose main objective is to support progress towards "an area of shared prosperity and good neighbourliness" between EU Member States and their neighbours.
While the ENI targets external relations with neighbouring countries as a whole, CBC puts the focus on equal cooperation across the EU external borders at local and regional level.
Cross-Border Cooperation should be seen in the context of the 2004 and 2007 EU big enlargement. When the new Member States joined the EU, an initiative was needed to prevent dividing lines emerging on the new EU's external borders. CBC was then launched, building on the Interreg model of cross-border cooperation within the EU itself.  The underlying concept takes grounds in a new perception of the 'border': away from its usual 'separation line' dimension, it promotes the border as a place where people cooperate and feel united in addressing common challenges together.
A true partnership programme
16 different ENI CBC programmes have been identified along the EU’s external border in the 2014-2020 financing period. They follow up on the work done by ENPI CBC within the previous financing period 2007-2013. These programmes range from the North to the South and currently include 18 EU member states, 16 neighbouring Partner Countries as well as Norway, Turkey and Russia.
The management of the 16 CBC programmes has been entrusted to Member States in a system where Neighbouring Partner Countries and Member States participate on an equal footing. They take joint decisions on how to spend the money within the identified priorities and on the specific projects to be financed. The role of the European Commission and of DG NEAR in particular is to monitor the programme implementation.  CBC is a true partnership programme with full ownership by the participating countries. 
The main beneficiaries of the CBC projects are local and regional administrations, NGO's and civil society organizations – from women’s groups to chambers of commerce – from both EU Member States and Neighbouring Partner Countries. They develop and submit their project proposals in a bottom up approach.


Participating countries in each programme define their specific priorities reflecting the common challenges they face in their respective regions.  All these priorities fit in the 3 overarching strategic objectives as follows: 

(i) promote economic and social development; 

(ii) address common challenges in environment, public health, safety and security; 

(iii) promote better conditions and modalities for ensuring the mobility of persons, goods and capital.  The promotion of local cross-border people to people actions is applied where relevant in pursuing the above objectives.  

Actions in brief


The actions financed by each programme are available on the programmes' respective websites:

The websites of the three programmes "Mid-Atlantic", "Lithuania-Russia" and "Poland-Russia" are not available because the programmes have not been adopted yet.


Find out more about Cross-Border Cooperation

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