By the end of 2014, the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013 had reached an advanced stage of implementation and could present sound proof of achievements. The Programme status and activities of 2014 are described in detail in the annual implementation report which was approved by the European Commission on 22 July.
Most projects finalised - targets reached
The majority of projects – 77 out of 90 – had submitted their final reports by end of 2014. Through these projects, the Programme has already met all quantitative targets defined for the four Programme priorities.
Institutional capacity in the Baltic Sea Region increased
The main contributions of the projects were in the field of institutional capacity building, for example: Under “Fostering of innovations across the Baltic Sea Region” (priority 1, 28 projects), institutional capacity has been built by establishing links and improving international cooperation between SMEs and research organisations. Within “Internal and external accessibility of the Baltic Sea Region” (priority 2, 18 projects), cooperation between national and regional transport policy makers has been improved resulting in better interconnection of transport networks. In addition, institutional knowledge on measures to make transport corridors “greener” has been increased. “Management of the Baltic Sea as a common resource” (priority 3, 21 projects) has strengthened the institutional capacity of politicians, authorities and practitioners in dealing with nutrient flows and hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea. Concerning “To promote attractive and competitive cities and regions” (priority 4, 23 projects), capacity of public authorities to prepare regional development strategies (e.g. in the thematic field “energy”) has been increased. For detailed examples of good quality outputs and achievements from projects finalised in 2014, please have a look at chapter 4 of the report.
Funds well absorbed
In total, EUR 165.9 million had been paid out to projects by the end of 2014. On average, projects absorb 90 % of the budgets requested during application. Unused funds had been already earlier partly allocated to Extension Stage projects in order to assure for their absorption.
Towards successful Programme closure
After the remaining ongoing projects will be finalised in 2015, the Programme bodies will proceed with closing the Programme. A complete overview of the Programme achievements will also be made available. These achievements will be further used and built on by projects in the follow-up programme Interreg Baltic Sea Region.
Annual Implementation Report for 2014 and previous years are available at eu.baltic.net/Programme-document.98.html.