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Belgium

Operational Programme 'Wallonia (not including Hainaut)'

Programme under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

On 21 December 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the Wallonia region in Belgium for the period 2007-2013. The programme covers four of the five Wallonian provinces: Namur, Luxembourg, Liège and Walloon Brabant (blue on the map).

This Operational Programme comes under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective and has a total budget of around 720 million euros. The assistance from the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is around 282 million euros, representing about 12.5% of total Community contributions to Belgium in the context of the cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

The national contribution provided for amounts to 437 million euros and may be partly met by Community loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and by other lending instruments.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

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The aim of the 2007-2013 strategy is to place the concepts of selectivity, sustainability, transversality, interactivity and networking at the centre of all the actions, for both the managing authorities and operators.

As far as the actions are concerned, the aim is to focus the development strategy on restoring the urban competitiveness of the metropolitan area and enhance the regional competitiveness of the rural areas.

The priority will be to step up interactions between the projects, making sure that they take place in a joint context of integrated territorial developmental. A detailed description of the strategic priorities makes it possible to estimate the proportion of the Community funding allocated to the Lisbon Strategy priorities at more than 60%.

2. Expected impact of the investment

The objective is that, by 2015, some 4 300 direct jobs will have been created through the programme. The expected overall impact, taking into account indirect and derived effects, is on that basis estimated at around 10 700 new jobs.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme has four priorities:

Priority 1: Job and business creation [around 31% of total investment]

The Meuse-Vesdre basin is experiencing difficulties replacing its declining heavy industry by new activities. It is therefore vital to develop new activities in sectors promising growth and jobs whilst preserving the existing fabric. It is essential to turn towards newer and more dynamic segments where the skills acquired will be better used. The priority is business start-ups bringing real added value through their work and which contribute to job creation.

The rural areas are characterised by the fragmentation of their productive capacity and the insufficiency of their industrial fabric. The aim is to enhance the economic environment through the implantation of larger enterprises and the development of businesses already operating in these areas, in particular by way of interaction with existing activities and markets in urban areas. To attain these objectives, original and innovative financial support services for businesses and services to promote entrepreneurship will be needed.

Priority 2: Development of human capital, knowledge, know-how and research [around 25% of total investment]

This priority is devoted to the development and exploitation of research and technological innovation potential, non-technological innovation and the development of successful skills training infrastructures. Specifically, Priority 2 focuses on:

  • direct support for research and development (R&D) projects conducted by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • strengthening approved research centres and the services subsequently made available to enterprises in the area;
  • creating effective infrastructures for the dissemination of knowledge associated with new technologies to the active population and young people.

Priority 3: Balanced and sustainable territorial development [around 43% of total investment]

The aim of this priority is to revitalise the Liège metropolitan area by developing competitive infrastructures, urban regeneration and the reclaiming of derelict industrial and urban land. These activities are a vital step towards revitalising Liège and making it more international. In parallel, activities will be supported in rural areas.

This priority also aims to support integrated urban renewal and cultural and heritage development projects. Three categories of action will therefore be given preference:

  • reclamation and reuse of derelict industrial and urban land;
  • development of competitive infrastructures;
  • support for integrated urban renewal and territorial attractiveness policies.

Projects developed here will have to incorporate, taking a horizontal approach, the aspects associated with territorial development, urban renewal, the quality and protection of the environment, the exploitation of renewable energies and the efficient use of energy.

Priority 4: Technical assistance [around 1% of total investment]

This priority will allow support to be provided for the introduction of an effective management, monitoring and control system to evaluate the programme and its projects and handle its communication and promotion.

4. Managing authority

Gouvernement wallon
Secrétariat général - Département de la Coordination des Fonds structurels
Place Joséphine Charlotte n°2
B-5100 Namur (Jambes)
Comités de suivi
Carl, Lukalu
E-mail.: carl.lukalu@gov.wallonie.be
Administration
Jean, Janss
E-mail.: jean.janss@spw.wallonie.be
E-mail.: dcfs@spw.wallonie.be
Ministre Président de la Région Wallonne
Rudy, Demotte
Tel.: +32 (0) 81 33 14 95
Fax.: +32 (0) 81 33 13 46
Web: Fonds structurels en Wallonie

Financial and Technical information

Title : Operational Programme 'Wallonia (not including Hainaut)'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007BE162PO003

Number of decision : C/2007/6880

Final approval date : 2007-12-21

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Making the knowledge economy more dynamic to increase the region’s competitiveness 83 452 106 139 266 335 222 718 441
Innovation at the heart of the economic and social changes in businesses 71 129 646 106 694 468 177 824 114
An environmentally-friendly regional economy 124 927 701 187 391 553 312 319 254
Technical assistance 3 005 478 4 508 217 7 513 695
Total 282 514 931 437 860 573 720 375 504
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