The European Union (EU) has announced it will be investing €110.6 million to promote “cross-border cooperation” between Portugal’s archipelagos of Madeira and Azores and Spain’s Canary Islands.
The ‘Interreg V-A’ programme is aimed at creating ways for the island communities to work together by “enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies, promoting climate change adaptation and protecting the environment”.
The EU funds will be complemented by another €19.5 million from the respective national governments, bringing the total money available to €130 million.
Euro Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu explained: “Cross-border programmes are one of the most tangible ways the EU is working to help citizens address common challenges and tap into shared potential – together.”
Cape Verde, Mauritania and Senegal are also part of the ‘Interreg’ programme.
This latest initiative is the fourth celebrated between Portugal and Spain, following the Interreg II-A (1995-99), Interreg III-A (2006-06) and Interreg IV-A (2007-13).
It will be managed by the regional government of the Canary Islands alongside the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Portugal’s Agency for European Cohesion Policy.