The INTERREG IIIC programme is one of the three strands of the European Community Initiative INTERREG III, which is is designed to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union (EU) by promoting cross-border (strand A), trans-national (strand B) and interregional (strand C) co-operation. The INTERREG IIIC allows regions without joint borders to work together in common projects and develop networks of co-operation. The overall aim is to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies and instruments through large-scale information exchange and sharing of experience (networks) in a structured way.
The ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) is intended to help reduce imbalances between regions of the Community. The Fund was set up in 1975 and grants financial assistance for development projects in the poorer regions. In terms of financial resources, the ERDF is by far the largest of the EU's Structural Funds.
Since 1 January 2005, the European Union is adopting a new definition for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises): “To be recognised as an SME, a business must comply with the staff thresholds and the thresholds for either the balance-sheet total or the turnover:
- Medium-sized enterprises have between 50 and 249 occupied persons. The turnover threshold will be raised to 50 million and the threshold for the balance-sheet total to 43 million;
- Small enterprises have between 10 and 49 occupied persons. The turnover threshold and the balance-sheet total will be raised to 10 million.
- Micro-enterprises have fewer than 10 occupied persons. A threshold of 2 million for the turnover and the balance-sheet total will be introduced
The European Union (EU) is a family of democratic European countries, committed to working together for peace and prosperity. It is not a State intended to replace existing states, but it is more than any other international organisation. Its Member States have set up common institutions to which they delegate some of their sovereignty so that decisions on specific matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level.
The lead partner has fully financial responsibility for the entire operation including all partners and is responsible for the proper reporting of progress to the respective Joint Technical Secretariat as also stipulated in the subsidy contract.