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Epirus is a region in northwestern Greece. It is divided into four regional units, Arta, Ioannina, Preveza and Thesprotia. The region has an area of about 9,200 km2. With a population of 350.000, GDP per capita in Epirus is 64% of the EU average (2010 figures), the Epirus region shares borders with Albania. The capital of Epirus is Ioannina.

A large part of Epirus lies on mountainous areas, called Pindus Mountains. Epirus has few resources and its rugged terrain makes agriculture difficult. Farming, fishing and pastoralism are important activities in the region (Epirus provides more than 45% of meat to the Greek market). Epirus is home to a number of the country's most famous dairy products' brands, which produce feta cheese among others. Another important area of the economy is also tourism, especially eco-tourism.

The region of Epirus faces challenges and risks like the predominance of the primary sector in the regional economies, rising pressures from domestic and international competition on the manufacturing sector, insufficient flexibility within the labour market, inadequate skills on the part of entrepreneurial actors and the labour force more generally and a declining population.


What are the region's priorities?

The region's priorities are:

  • Modernization and construction of Epirus's road, urban and rail infrastructure
  • Improvement of competitiveness, extroversion, quality and innovative nature of enterprises;
  • Rationalisation of environmental protection and of the management of natural resources;
  • Strengthening of intraregional economic cohesion;
  • Utilisation of tourism and culture for more growth and job creation;
  • Promotion of information technologies and entrepreneurship.


How is EU regional policy contributing?

For the 2007-2013 period, Epirus has been allocated more than €370 million within the Operational Programme 'Thessalia - Sterea Ellada - Ipiros' which amounts € 1.1 billion ERDF funding.

The expected impacts of the investments from this programme are the creation of approximately 2 800 new jobs. Over 200 km of roads and 14 km of railway lines will be built, renovated and upgraded, while investment in renewable energy will save the equivalent of 45 000 tons of oil per year. The landscape at 61 landfill sites will be restored and three solid waste treatment plants built. Additionally, over 15 000 pupils will benefit from entirely new or modernised education infrastructures. The population of the three regions will also benefit from 14 new healthcare facilities in what constitutes a strategic strengthening of primary healthcare in Greece.


Project examples

  • "New Knowledge": ERDF contribution EUR 2,026,125
  • This project promotes research and development results produced by regional research entities in order to provide the productive sector and the local society with concrete solutions out of these research findings. To do so, particular attention is paid to the cooperation between the research entities, to networking between research entities and the productive sector and to develop readiness from researchers' side to focus their research activities on the needs of local enterprises and society. Proposals submitted by regional research entities which can prove that their research findings can be used by local enterprises or another local private or public entity can be funded. To date, 27 varied projects have been funded, like for example a new quality control for traditional silversmith craftsmanship in order to promote better this local art, the determination of the authenticity of the botanical and geographical origin of food products to achieve a possible Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and give them a significant added value, and a research project on an innovative treatment of ligament rupture based on stem cells and tissue engineering.

  • Multifunction centre in the Hospital Hatzikosta Ioanninon for the treatment of alcoholic and drug users:
    ERDF contribution EUR 7.919.257

    This project deals with the construction of a new building as multifunction centre for treatment of alcoholic and drugs users in the Hatzikosta Hospital in Ioannina with a total surface of 4000 m2. The project also includes development works of the surrounding and green areas, the supply and installation of medical, electrical, electronic and hosting equipment. The services provided by the centre will be emergency surgery, counselling centre and rehabilitation unit and a closed detoxification unit.


Further information