10 things to know about Interreg

10. Transnational cooperation improves policy making and initiates change, and therefore has long-term impact

Transnational projects develop new approaches, methodologies, and practices and demonstrate their feasibility. The demonstrated effects often inspire policy-makers to create frameworks that facilitate the upscaling of the new solutions. This is one of the key reasons why our projects often deliver their full potential only years after a project has ended.

We transform food systems to make societies future-proof

©Matlust/Christian Ferm

In 2017, the United Nations picked up experience gathered in Interreg projects to transform food systems. BERAS – a concept from the Baltic Sea region - is now part of the main measure to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goal ‘Sustainable Consumption and Production’.

People call for organic agriculture because of agrochemicals in food, massive wildlife decline and negative effects on climate. The Interreg project ‘Building Ecological Regenerative Agriculture and Societies’ (BERAS) and its follow-ups BERAS Implementation as well as ‘Diet for a Green Planet’ (Interreg Europe Programme) empowered towns and municipalities to turn ecological agriculture into local benefit.

By 2013, experts from universities together with municipalities, agricultural, ecological and economical advisors and associations  set up more than 50 demonstration farms and information centres to support farmers in converting to sustainable agriculture. BERAS locally connected organic farmers with food processing companies and consumers such as schools and care homes. Several towns in Europe including Södertalje (Sweden), Lomza (Poland), Moletai (Lithuania), and Mollet del Vallès (Spain) started to implement a specific BERAS eco-diet.