A new study has provided interesting insights into the possible synergy effects of macro-regional strategies. It highlights the significance of macro regional strategies for regions, especially for their public perception.


The study “Added value of the macro-regional strategies” was launched by Interact and conducted by Spatial Foresight GmbH during 2016.  It is based on an analysis of 31 projects with various capacities and funding sources in the EUSBSR and the Danube Region.

Projects were chosen from the thematic fields of ‘research and innovation’, ‘environment’ and ‘transport and navigation’. The extensive analysis, conducted in 2016, discussed the possible “win-win situations” between macro-regional strategies and projects, along with the question of whether or not programmes “can make better use of the macro-regional strategies”.

The report summarised that macro regional strategies provide guidelines and support, by facilitating programme implementation and coordination between programmes.

Additionally, strategies improve the visibility of programmes, since they provide a larger platform. In the development phase of projects, macro-regional strategies help to provide guidelines and increase opportunities for funding.

In the later implementation stage, strategies are used as platforms for exchange. Nevertheless, positive effects by the macro regional strategy are rather limited in both stages. Most value is derived in the so-called “post-project life”. Increased visibility, outreach and possibilities for additional funding are frequently mentioned benefits.

Regardless of positive effects, the study found several opportunities for improvement, emphasising that “programmes and projects can make better use of macro-regional strategies to strengthen policy relevance (…) to align efforts and capitalise on the symbolic importance of macro-regional strategies”.

The study supports the value of macro-regional strategies and highlights possibilities for further integration, if strategies are applied accurately. Especially the outreach effect of macro regional strategies should be highlighted.

At the upcoming Political Bureau of the CPMR, being held in Gozo, Malta, on 10 March, a position on macro regional and sea-basin strategies will be adopted.

Read the study, ‘Added value of the macro-regional strategies’, developed by Spatial Foresight GmbH and published by the Interact programme.