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'European Territorial Cooperation Austria-Slovak Republic 2007-2013'

Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

On 20 December 2007, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between Austria and Slovakia for the period 2007-13. The Programme involves providing Community support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for specific Austrian and Slovakian regions that lie along their common border: in Austria Weinviertel, Wiener Umland-Nordteil, Wiener Umland-Südteil, Nordburgenland, Wien (core Programme area) and the neighbouring (adjacent) regions Waldviertel, Mostviertel-Eisenwurzen, Sankt Pölten, Niederösterreich-Süd and Mittelburgenland, as well as the self-governing regions of Bratislava and Trnava for the Slovakian side.

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €73 million. Community assistance through the ERDF amounts to some €60 million, which represents approximately 0.7% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-13.

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment

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The region has developed dynamically since borders were opened up. The southern parts of the border region, given their location at the intersection of three countries, have clear advantages in terms of general settlement and economic structures, and thus show positive and dynamic growth. The close vicinity of the two capitals, Vienna and Bratislava, and the region’s well-developed infrastructure, both play an important role. The situation is quite different within the border region, where there are urban agglomerations, rural regions with weak economic structures and poor cross-border accessibility, and dynamic regions with their solid economic structures.

Therefore, despite the progress made in catching up, disparities in the levels of prosperity and development represent the greatest challenge, namely establishing functioning cross-border relations for the future. The Programme also aims to build a border region which is dynamic, has knowledge-based regional economies, is socially and environmentally attractive, and plays a key role among European metropolitan regions.

2. Expected impact of investments

The investments made are expected to result in economic, social, environmental and cultural development in the border region by providing support to joint projects, initiatives and public interventions. In an effort to face new global challenges and opportunities and to balance the disparities in the area covered, the Programme focuses on building an integrated, open region by using different development factors and development strategies.

A series of indicators will are used to assess the specific impacts of the Programme’s investments. These cover a range of areas including Gross Domestic Product (GDP), export, employment and investment levels, the numbers of projects focused on renewable energies, research, transport, education, and so on, and improvements in innovation, environmental protection and tourism.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme is structured along the following priority axes:

Learning Region and Economic Competitiveness [approximately 43.6% of total funding]

This priority axis is oriented towards the Lisbon agenda and aims to build an innovation and knowledge based cross-border economy, with cultural heritage and social inclusion being central to the strategy. The areas addressed include: small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and cooperation in research and technological development (RTD); cultural and tourism cooperation; education, qualifications and integration of the labour markets; and the social dimension of integration, namely social and health services.

Accessibility and Sustainable Development [approximately 46.6% of total funding]

This priority axis reflects the Gothenburg objectives of sustainability, and aims to develop the region’s natural attractiveness as well as its accessibility and infrastructure based on the principle of environmental sustainability. The areas addressed include: transport and regional accessibility; sustainable spatial development and sound regional governance; cooperation and joint management of protected areas; and energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, environmental protection and risk management.

Technical Assistance for the Process of Cross-border Cooperation [approximately 9.8% of total funding]

Technical assistance will be provided for implementing the Programme. Financial support is also available and will cover administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

4. Managing Authority

City of Vienna
Department for EU-Strategy and Economic Development
Schlesingerplatz 2
A-1082 Wien
Martin, Hutter
Tel.: +43 (0)1 4000 27061
Fax.: +43 (0)1 4000 7215
E-mail.: martin.hutter@wien.gv.at
Web: Creating the future

Financial and Technical information

Title : 'European Territorial Cooperation Austria-Slovak Republic 2007-2013'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007CB163PO003

Number of decision : C/2007/6517

Final approval date : 2007-12-20

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Learning Region and Economic Competitiveness 27 193 987 4 798 939 31 992 926
Accessibility and Sustainable Development 29 117 987 5 138 468 34 256 455
Technical Assistance for the Process of Cross-border Cooperation 3 594 381 3 594 381 7 188 762
Total 59 906 355 13 531 788 73 438 143
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