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Operational Programme 'Midi-Pyrénées'

Community assistance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the 'Regional competitiveness and employment' objective

On 25 July 2007 the European Commission approved the operational programme (OP) for Community assistance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the "Regional competitiveness and employment" objective in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France (Modified decision C(2011) 3815 - 07/06/2011). The total cost of the programme is more than 1.2 billion euros, the maximum contribution of the ERDF to the operational programme is EUR 430.02 million and the maximum rate of cofinancing is set at 35.01 %. The national public contribution provided for is EUR 478 million and may be partly met by Community loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and by other lending instruments.

1. Strategic objectives and priorities of the operational programme

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The key components of the operational programme for competitiveness are the challenge of competitiveness through innovation, the challenge of a more modest and environmentally friendly form of development and the challenge of cohesion within a region of solidarity.

The programme will concentrate funds by assisting fewer projects but choosing projects which will be more effective. It was drawn up with a view to ensuring complementarity with the regional strands of the operational programme on employment, the rural development plan and other area-based policies (such as the State-Region Project Contract) and is a crucial component of the development of the Midi-Pyrénées region.

The three major objectives of the OP's priorities are to:

  • boost innovation and the knowledge economy,
  • promote sustainable development and the prevention of climate change,
  • strengthen territorial cohesion and the accessibility of the region as essential components of solidarity-based development.

A detailed description of its strategic priorities makes it possible to estimate the share of Community funds allocated to the Lisbon Strategy’s priorities at more than 67% for the ERDF and at almost 76% for the ERDF and ESF together.

2. Estimated impact of EU investment

Community financing should help to create 7 000 jobs in high-tech and medium-high-tech sectors and high-tech and knowledge-based services. 600 patents are to be filed and 130 businesses set up thanks to the regional incubator in the area of R&D. Objectives also include a 7% reduction in CO2 emissions, a 10% increase in the number of additional passenger-kilometres, 95% population coverage for public e-content at local level and between municipalities, and a 20% increase in bodies of water with good ecological status.

3. Priorities

The operational programme is divided into seven priority areas:

Priority 1. Enhance the research potential of competitiveness poles and regional networks of excellence and modernise the higher education structures attached to them

By concentrating on enhancing the research potential of competitiveness poles and networks of excellence in the Midi-Pyrénées, on collaborative projects between research bodies and business, and on promoting scientific culture among young people and the general public, this priority is in keeping with the European and national objectives in these areas.

Priority 2. Develop competitiveness among businesses by means of a support policy focusing on aid for projects, innovation and raising the level of professionalism

This priority aims to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in businesses and to create more and better jobs, taking account of the "sustainable development" dimension. Giving more people incentives to join the workforce or set up a business, improving the adaptability of workers and businesses and increasing investment in human capital are all measures which work towards these objectives.

Priority 3. Preserve and enhance the environmental capital of the Midi-Pyrénées

The region's participation in the global effort to prevent climate change is the programme's priority with regard to the environment. This is particularly important given that there was a 10% increase in CO2 emissions in the region during the period 1990-2003. The quality of natural resources (primarily water) is also one of the crucial environmental issues for the Midi-Pyrénées region. The objective is to achieve, by 2015, the good ecological status provided for in the Water Framework Directive adopted at European level.

Priority 4. Boost the development of the Pyrenees via a balanced and sustainable interregional policy

There will be both interregional measures, which create opportunities for rapid development and for the competitiveness of the Pyrenees, and local projects, which work towards sustainable development for the region. For example, support will be given for measures to raise locals' and tourists' awareness of the natural hazards of the mountains or for interregional projects to help enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the Pyrenees.

Priority 5. Improve accessibility, attractiveness and local transport

Given the condition of the infrastructure, the scale of the area, the scattered urbanisation and strong population growth, there is a heavy reliance on car use in the Midi-Pyrénées region, causing a particularly negative impact on the environment and a rapidly growing demand for all modes of transport. Providing better access to rail networks in several employment zones in the region is therefore an absolute priority in order to ensure balanced development in the region, but also with a view to tackling climate change. The development of information and communication technologies (ICT) is also a response to the challenge of long-term accessibility for the Midi-Pyrénées region and may limit the growth in travel.

Priority 6. Support urban projects on social cohesion and multi-modality

This priority relates more specifically to sustainable urban development measures designed to strengthen urban cohesion in fragile areas. Two objectives will help to increase social cohesion between cities and problem districts: supporting integrated development projects in districts which are particularly problematic, and supporting a more sustainable and effective urban mobility.

Priority 7. Technical assistance

This strand will provide support for the introduction of an effective management, monitoring and control system to evaluate the programme and its projects and for communication and publicity relating to the programme and the operations carried out.

4. Managing Authority

Préfecture de la région Midi-Pyrénées
1, Place Saint-Etienne
F-31038 Toulouse Cedex 9
Secrétariat général pour les affaires régionales, Direction Europe
Colomba, DUSSART
Tel.: +33 5 34 45 33 44
E-mail.: colomba.dussart@midi-pyrenees.pref.gouv.fr
Web: Préfecture de la Région Midi-Pyrénées

Financial and Technical information

Title : Operational Programme 'Midi-Pyrénées'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007FR162PO021

Number of decision : C/2007/3688 + C(2011) 3815

Final approval date : 2007-07-25

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Enhance the research potential of competitiveness poles and regional networks of excellence and modernise the higher education structures attached to them 97 500 000 131 625 000 229 125 000
Develop competitiveness among businesses by means of a support policy focusing on aid for projects, innovation and raising the level of professionalism 140 000 000 140 000 000 280 000 000
Preserve and enhance the environmental capital of the Midi-Pyrénées 60 388 895 82 974 016 143 362 911
Boost the development of the Pyrenees via a balanced and sustainable interregional policy 19 158 743 24 000 000 43 158 743
Improve accessibility, attractiveness and local transport 74 000 000 74 000 000 148 000 000
Support urban projects on social cohesion and multi-modality 26 000 000 22 533 333 48 533 333
Technical assistance 12 975 991 3 249 571 16 225 562
Total 430 023 629 478 381 920 908 405 549
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