For 27 years, the INTERREG programs have aimed to strengthen cooperation between institutional partners and project leaders on both sides of a common border or within a common geographical area in Europe. For the 2014-2020 time period, there are a total of 107 European territorial cooperation programs.
INTERREG Caribbean, which has existed since 2000, is a special cooperation program: it aims to strengthen cooperation between European territories (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Saint-Martin) and Caribbean territories and states (more than 40).
INTERREG Caribbean is a partnership program: it is managed by the Guadeloupe Region jointly with the European partners (French Guiana Territorial Collectivity, Martinique Territorial Collectivity, Saint-Martin Collectivity, State representatives and the European Commission) and Caribbean partners (represented by the following regional international organizations :Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, CARIFORUM, Association of Caribbean States, Association of Caribbean OCTs).
By creating spaces for regular exchanges between partners, the Program contributes to the integration of the Caribbean space.
INTERREG Caribbean's cooperation strategy has been defined jointly by the program partners. These are themes that relate to issues shared by these territories or that seek to valorize the specificities of the area.
The areas of cooperation selected concern: employment and innovation, natural risks, the natural and cultural environment, public health, renewable energies and strengthening human capital.
INTERREG Caribbean supports structuring projects, that is to say projects that respond adequately to one or more issues in the cooperation area and that involve a rich and relevant partnership.
INTERREG Caribbean projects are cooperation projects, the beneficiaries of which are fairly distributed amongst the partners, and are therefore distinct from export aid projects. These projects are led by an EU leader who is required to have administrative and financial strength and stability.
Project holders (Project leaders and partners) can be very varied: public institutions, local authorities, associations, companies, universities, research and innovation actors, civil society actors, etc.
The Managing Authority, the Guadeloupe Region, and the Joint Secretariat work at the service of the projects and support the beneficiaries from the idea to the termination of their project.
In order to ensure the ownership of the program by all, the program managers have created a system of Regional Contact Points (RCPs). These RCPs, located in the territories of the partners, are real relays for the animation of the program and the support of the project leaders.
Different European funds are dedicated to cooperation in the area: the ERDF (used in the framework of INTERREG Caribbean in particular, targeting European Union project leaders) and the EDF (European Development Fund, targeting non- european union project leaders). In order to reinforce the articulation between these funds, and to enable the program a fair implication of the project leaders in the area, the management of an envelope of 2.94 million euros from the EDF has been delegated to the Managing Authority of INTERREG Caribbean. This shall enable the program to support both European Union (via the ERDF) and non-European Union (via the EDF) project leaders.
Gathered in December 2016, the partners set the strategic guidelines for this EDF-ERDF joint articulation, an unprecedented device that shall be implemented jointly.