14 2 5 3 Alpine Nature 2030 Creating ecological connectivity for generations to come 173 and involvement of stakeholders as has been tested in the former ETC project ECONNECT from 2008 to 2011 Künzl et al 2011 www econnectproject eu In addition the geographical scope of possible fund ing sources must be taken into account For example Interreg A cross border programmes offer a rela tively wide and exible thematic menu while focus ing on a de ned cross border area Interreg B projects with a comparably wider geographic scope might thus be suitable to integrate relevant actors in a transna tional system As an example two territorial funding instruments for the funding period 2014 to 2020 that would allow the implementation of both formerly mentioned op tions narrow and wide have been selected and will be brie y described 5 2 1 Interreg as an option for cross border and transnational cooperation Interreg stands for Inter Regions and represents a family of more than 60 funding instruments that sup port cooperative cross border or transnational ap proaches on a wide range of regional development themes EU Commission 2013 Since the establishment of the EU funding instrument Interreg more than 20 years ago the relevance of European Territorial Cooperation ETC between European regions have increased signi cantly and the budget as well as the use of this funding instrument for cooperative policies has been continuously increasing as well Interreg is purely funded out of the Structural Funds The programme allows funding of broad spatial planning approaches as well as focused thematic cooperation Although public as well as private partners are eligible regional au thorities and cities remain the main target groups The potential of Interreg projects can be signi cant As an example the Interreg III B CADSES Project Carpathian Project has successfully nanced the implementation of several protocols of the Carpathian Convention 5 2 2 LIFE innovative demonstration projects in the ªeld of biodiversity and nature conservation When focusing on the environmental aspects the EU funding instrument LIFE EU Commission 2014 has represented an instrument for the successful funding of innovative demonstration projects for more than 20 years These projects should represent illustrations and best practices for the implementation of the EU s environmental policies including the biodiversity strategy and Natura 2000 Considering that LIFE is a demonstration tool for EU wide applicable solu tions the programme allows for non cooperative project approaches as well For example activities in Natura 2000 areas or projects that target selective species or a broader approach to biodiversity manage ment with a single project bene ciary or only few partners are eligible as well Policy support and commitment are crucial fac tors for successful projects The existence of EUSALP as an overarching policy strategy triggers and sup ports favourable developments in the context of project development support As a regional example the Free State of Bavaria has developed a small funding programme that supports the development of transnational Interreg projects as such Bayer StMFLH 2015 This instrument is of course open for the development of projects relevant for the EUSALP as well From a broader governance perspective the openness of authorities to develop ing cooperative projects is fostered through political commitment on regional and national levels This can be clearly seen as opportunity for vitalising the imple mentation work of the EUSALP with concrete project activities Also in this context a more detailed assessment of the design of the funding programmes offers new options As an example the transnational Interreg funding pro gramme for the Alpine Space offers additional oppor tunities for governance institutions to build up coop erative and coordinative capacities on a transnational level Priority 4 Regarding the development of concrete project op tions on the ground the multitude of funding op tions is thus rooted in the complex cooperative and cross sectoral approach that is required in the imple mentation of ecological continua One the one hand an extensive thematic menu of possible themes with different foci is possible On the other hand the analysis of the funding options through EU pro grammes offers a wide range of options depending on their speci c thematic pattern In this context a strategic approach to project planning is relevant to fully exploit these options and identify suitable the matic matches

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