Cross-Border Collaboration for a Sustainable Future : - a case study about Interreg V ÖKS subsidyand sustainable transportation projects

University essay from KTH/Urbana och regionala studier

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to investigate one of the European Structural Fundprogrammes, Interreg V Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak (ÖKS) and the priority areaTransportation. The programme gives financial support to transportation projectsaiming to develop sustainable (environmentally friendly) transportation alternativesand solutions.

Through studies and theories on cross-border collaboration (CBC) and goals forsustainable transportation a major need of joint strategies for solving shared problems,such as environmental concerns has been demonstrated. This approach ofcollaboration projects as a pillar for sustainable development has been the foundationof how the current Interreg programme has been studied and the starting point for thisresearch. The study aims to clarify the relationship between the overall view uponcooperation and joint development programmes (within areas stretching over nationaland administrative borders, such as transportation) and the specific Interregprogramme. A programme which during current period (2014-2020) experienced adrastic decline of number of applicants. In order to further understand the context thecurrent study has trough empirical research defined added values (advantages) of theCBC but also identified the perceived difficulties and barriers (disadvantages). Thefounding’s have further been compared and supplemented with perspectives fromrelevant actors engaged in transportation development. This material has beencollected through qualitative interviews enabling a vital and good understanding ofconcerned actors and their view of advantages and disadvantages with CBC. Theanalysis has also enabled the conclusion that the general view among the actors is thatcollaboration projects are necessary for a sustainable development. However, studiedprogramme with declined number of applicants did not succeed in attracting desiredparticipants. Consequently, the actors were also asked to share their view upon thedecline of applicants for current Interreg period. One identified explanation wasrelated to the administrative burden which was perceived too heavy by the actors. Inaddition, the financial part was perceived to be too low or poorly designed. Theknowledge about the programme was also found to be limited among some of theactors. To be able to involve more participants in the future it has been concluded thatimprovements within the three areas of defined obstacles have to be implemented.

This investigation and findings aim to contribute to increased insights andunderstanding of the cross-border cooperation process in order to be able to reach andinvolve relevant actors in the most favourable way for successful future projects anddesired sustainable development.

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