Purpose, objectives, key priorities

CENTRAL EUROPE is a European Union programme that encourages cooperation among the countries of Central Europe to improve innovation, accessibility and the environment and to enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of their cities and regions. CENTRAL EUROPE invests €231 million to provide funding to transnational cooperation projects involving public and private organisations from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. The programme is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and runs from 2007 to 2013. Interested partnerships are invited to propose their projects following public calls for proposals, which will be widely publicised.

Related sub-programmes or priority areas

CENTRAL EUROPE provides funding for cooperation projects covering four thematic areas:
PRIORITY 1: Facilitating innovation across Central Europe
PRIORITY 2: Improving accessibility to, and within, Central Europe
PRIORITY 3: Using our environment responsibly
PRIORITY 4: Enhancing competitiveness and attractiveness of cities and regions

Funding schemes, funding instruments

The CENTRAL EUROPE programme finances territorial cooperation projects that add explicit value to the CENTRAL EUROPE cooperation area. Whether or not a project generates transnational added value is the result of key factors such as, among others, the issue addressed, the partnership involved, the degree of innovation and the visibility and impact of project activities and results.

More specifically projects seeking funds from the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme should meet the following characteristics: 

  • Transnational thematic focus: Projects should focus on issues that are relevant to the four programme priorities and their areas of intervention and that cannot be sufficiently addressed by individual regions or countries alone. Projects should also contribute to the overall programme goals such as strengthening territorial cohesion and enhancing the competitiveness of Central Europe.
  • Transnational partnership: The partnership must involve a minimum of three partners from at least three countries, and at least two of the countries should be EU Member States. Partners need to be involved in the project in a proportionate way, and they must be able to credibly outline the benefits they derive. The Programme is particularly interested in promoting multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral partnerships.
  • Coherent approach and effective management: Projects must define their objectives, approach and planned effects in a logical, coherent and clear manner. Projects must have efficient and transparent management and coordination structures and procedures.
  • Effective knowledge creation and transfer: The Programme’s emphasis on innovation implies that projects adopt a knowledge-based approach and pay close attention to generation, application and transfer of relevant expertise and state-of-the-art knowledge. This includes analysing a project’s environment.
  • Concrete outputs and results: Projects must have a measurable positive impact on a clearly defined trans-national geographic area. Their outputs and results must enable actual implementation, for instance, by preparing investments and should be transferable beyond the partnership. Study projects without concrete and applicable results will not be supported.
  • High emphasis on communication: Projects need to develop a communication strategy outlining their information and dissemination activities. This will include activities targeting the media in their regions as well as non-media communication and PR activities.

Rules for application, financial rules





Joint Technical Secretariat
Museumstrasse 3/A/III
A-1070 Vienna
Fax: +43 (0) 1 4000 - 9976141
E-mail: info@central2013.eu