Skip to main content
Skip table of contents

1. Introduction to the Interreg NPA

1.1 The Programme in short

The Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme area spans the northernmost parts of Europe and North Atlantic territories. From its inception the first Interreg period for this programme, 2000-2006, the programme was called “The Northern Periphery Programme” in order to highlight the peripheral and northern position of the Programme area compared to Europe in general. In 2014, the Arctic dimension was underlined in the Programme title “The Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme” (NPA). The background for this was the growing international and EU interest in the developments in the Arctic area, mainly driven by climate change and the new challenges and opportunities that it brings. It is, however, important to stress that the programme area does not solely have Arctic coverage but also includes non-Arctic areas.

In the EU Member States, the Programme area covers Northern and Eastern Finland, Northern and Western Regions of Ireland, and Northern Sweden. In the Non-EU Member States, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Northern parts of Norway belong to the Programme area.

Sparse population and extreme peripherality from the economic centres of the EU are defining characteristics that present a functional rationale for cooperation across the territory. The Programme provides a framework for the countries and regions to cooperate on common and shared issues in ways that recognise the particular demands of, in particular, the geographical characteristics of the area. The Programme encourages effective cooperation, e.g. to maximise place-based development, builds on the strengths within sparsely populated communities, and finds innovative solutions to support links into larger markets and more populated areas.

Through transnational cooperation, the Interreg NPA Programme addresses the challenges and opportunities in the programme area through 3 Priorities. For a more detailed description of each priority, its underlying specific objectives, and actions supported, please see the Interreg NPA Cooperation Programme document[1].

Figure 1 - Interreg NPA Priorities and Specific Objectives

Interreg NPA Priority 1 Innovation Capacity.pdf

Interreg NPA Priority 2 Climate change.pdf

Interreg NPA Priority 3 Capacity Building.pdf

1.2  Programme area

The NPA area consists of regions inside the EU Member States of Finland, Ireland, and Sweden, as well as regions outside the EU, in Norway, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.

Table 1 - List of regions in the NPA Programme area


Region code

Region name





Pohjois-ja Itä-Suomi



Northern and Western







Mellersta Norrland


Övre Norrland







Svalbard and Jan Mayen



Entire territory

Faroe Islands


Entire territory



Entire territory

Figure 2 - Programme area map

1.3 Programme funding

Between 2021-2027, the Programme will allocate 46 909 187 Euros to projects, of which 39 978 162 EUR in European funding (ERDF) will be available to partners in Member States (Finland, Ireland, Sweden) and 6 931 025 EUR for partners in the Non-EU partner countries (Norway, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland).

The Euro (€) is used for all transactions in the Programme.

The funding available for projects (100%) has been distributed as follows:

  • Priority 1: 45%

  • Priority 2: 45%

  • Priority 3: 10%

The Programme is financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contributions from the EU Member States, ERDF equivalent funding from the Non-EU partner countries, supplemented by match funding from projects. Projects apply to the Programme for ERDF or ERDF equivalent co-financing, and they contribute to the project with public or private match funding.

Table 2 - Funding Sources Interreg NPA



Funding allocation for projects

Grant Rate*

Member States (Finland, Ireland, Sweden)


39 978 162 EUR



ERDF equivalent

2 710 020 EUR



ERDF equivalent

2 622 600 EUR


Faroe Islands

ERDF equivalent

772 286 EUR



ERDF equivalent

826 119 EUR


1.4  Programme bodies

The programme is managed and supported by a number of programme bodies that are responsible for administering the programme and assisting projects.

Contact details for the programme bodies can be found on the programme website: .  

1.4.1 Joint Secretariat

The Joint Secretariat (JS) carries out the day-to-day operational administration of the programme. The Secretariat consists of a small team based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Secretariat is happy to assist with any queries regarding project ideas, partnerships, draft applications, project management, etc. The Secretariat also has a role in the assessment of project applications and in the drafting of decision proposals for approval or non-approval. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult and involve the Secretariat in the development of their projects. The Secretariat works in close cooperation with the Regional Contact Points.

1.4.2  Regional Contact Points

The Interreg NPA covers a large geographical area. For this reason, each of the participating programme partner countries has a Regional Contact Point (RCP), who functions as a local source of advice and information on the programme in your own language. 

RCPs work in close cooperation with the Joint Secretariat and have expertise and knowledge on how to develop and manage a transnational project. They also hold programme events throughout the year. This is why it is always worthwhile to consult your RCP in the planning and implementation of your project.

When it comes to project selection, RCPs carry out regional appraisals of preparatory projects, and make a recommendation on whether or not to support the project. For main projects, RCPs collect and summarise the regional appraisals carried out by Regional Advisory Groups (see below).

1.4.3. Managing Authority

The Managing Authority (MA) is the body formally responsible for managing the programme on behalf of the participating partner countries. It is the County Administrative Board of Västerbotten based in Umeå, Sweden. The MA issues the Grant Letter and signs the contracts on behalf of the programme. The MA also plays an important role in the financial claim process for project partners, where the MA is responsible for ensuring that all project expenditure has been adequately checked and validated by the controllers before it can be authorised for payment. The MA also handles the transfer of payments to projects.

1.4.4  Monitoring Committee

The Monitoring Committee (MC) is responsible for supervising the programme and its overall task is to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the programme's implementation. The MC is also responsible for the selection of project applications. Each programme partner country is represented on the committee and decisions are made by consensus. In addition, the European Commission attends meetings of the MC in an advisory capacity.

An overview of MC members and permanent observers can be found on the Interreg NPA website.

1.4.5  Regional Advisory Groups

Regional Advisory Groups (RAGs) have been established in each programme partner country. These groups have an advisory role in the assessment procedure of main project applications. RAGs consider the suitability and priority of project applications from a regional perspective and make a recommendation on whether or not to support the project. Their input is used in the Secretariat’s decision proposal to the MC before it takes a final decision on the project application. The members of the RAGs have different fields of expertise upon which they base their recommendations. The RAGs also promote and facilitate project development.

Figure 3 - Programme bodies and their role in the application process

[1] Interreg NPA Cooperation Programme document extract Link

JavaScript errors detected

Please note, these errors can depend on your browser setup.

If this problem persists, please contact our support.