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Operational Programme 'Central Macedonia - Western Macedonia - Eastern Macedonia & Thrace'

Programme under the Convergence objective co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

On 26 October 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for Greece for the period 2007-13. The Operational Programme “Central Macedonia – Western Macedonia – Eastern Macedonia & Thrace” involves Community support for 3 NUTS II regions in northern Greece: Central Macedonia, Western Macedonia and Eastern Macedonia & Thrace.

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the Convergence objective and has a total budget of around €3.265 billion. Community assistance through the ERDF amounts to some €2.675 billion, which represents approximately 13.34% of the total EU money invested in Greece under Cohesion policy 2007-13.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

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The three regions covered by the Operational Programme have a rich environment, a balanced economic structure, key infrastructure and international connections, proximity to new economies of South-Eastern Europe and the Balkans, major industrial sites, important and diversified tourist assets as well as research centres and universities. Nevertheless, the regional GDP per capita and the employment rate are lower than the national average. The major financial effort through public investment for 2007-13 aims at :

  • improving competitiveness and employment through the knowledge and innovation economy;
  • strengthening the position of regions in North-Eastern Europe through upgraded intraregional and trans-regional accessibility infrastructures as well as outward-looking and innovative enterprise networks;
  • promoting sustainable economic and social development through rational environmental protection and management of natural resources;
  • strengthening the role of urban centres and intraregional economic cohesion;
  • utilising tourism and culture for viable growth;
  • promoting digital convergence and entrepreneurship.

2. Expected impact of the investments

The programme's various actions will result in the creation of approximately 2 000 new jobs. Some 270 km of roads and 35 km of railway will be constructed or renovated and upgraded, while investment in renewable energy will save the equivalent of 72 300 tons of oil per year. The landscape will be restored in respect of 85 landfills, while 21 solid waste treatment projects will be undertaken. Additionally, over 24 000 pupils will benefit from entirely new or modernised education infrastructures. The population in the three regions will also benefit from more than 90 healthcare projects in what constitutes a strategic strengthening of primary healthcare in Greece.

3. Priority axes

The Operational Programme is structured along three thematic objectives: accessibility to infrastructures and services, digital convergence and entrepreneurship, and sustainable development and quality of life. For each set of objectives, three sets of thematic priority axes are designed for each of the three regions covered by the programme. A fourth set of priority axes contains the budgets for technical assistance for implementation of the three thematic axes in each of the three regions.

The Operational Programme “Central Macedonia – Western Macedonia – Eastern Macedonia & Thrace” is structured along the following priority axes :

Accessibility to infrastructures and services in Central Macedonia [approximately 12.7 % of total amount of funding]

Specific objectives of this priority axis include:

  • the creation of a balanced and polycentric network of urban centres, which is linked to the Trans-European Networks (TENs) through an integrated transport system;
  • improved accessibility of the region to the national transport network.

Accessibility to infrastructures and services in Western Macedonia [approximately 2.8 % of total amount of funding]

The priority aims to improve accessibility and transport safety of the region through the inter-regional road network by carrying out new transport projects designed to connect the region of Western Macedonia with other Greek regions. This will strengthen the role of urban centres and will support opening up the region to its neighbouring Balkan countries.

Accessibility to infrastructures and services in Eastern Macedonia & Thrace [approximately 7.9 % of total amount of funding]

Specific objectives of this priority axis include:

  • improvement of the access to the region's industrial zones, ports, isolated areas and mountainous areas;
  • improvement of the port infrastructure of Alexandroupolis and Kavala;
  • completion of the railway system and connection of the system with industrial zones and ports;
  • reinforcement of fisheries activities through related infrastructure.

Digital convergence and entrepreneurship in Central Macedonia [approximately 19.4 % of total amount of funding]

The objective of this priority axis is to strengthen entrepreneurship and promote environmentally friendly energy sources in an effort to produce high added-value products and services in sectors that integrate knowledge, innovation and environmental concern (notably in the health, education, trade, tourism sector as well as other activities in the tertiary sector). Funding of this priority will also boost the contribution made by information and communication technology (ICT) to the regional economy and inhabitants of the region.

Digital convergence and entrepreneurship in Western Macedonia [approximately 3.6 % of total amount of funding]

The priority aims to promote the use of ICT by enterprises and citizens with a view to improving productivity in the regional economy and the quality of services provided to citizens.

Digital convergence and entrepreneurship in Eastern Macedonia & Thrace [approximately 0.6 % of total amount of funding]

Specific objectives of this priority axis include:

  • promoting investments in trade and services in specific zones and sectors that are threatened by economic restructuring, for specific groups of the population as well as for specific tourist activities (e.g. agrotourism);
  • promoting alternative energy resources and rational management of energy resources.

Sustainable growth and quality of life in Central Macedonia [approximately 33.5 % of total amount of funding]

This priority axis will promote the protection, improvement and sustainable use of the environment, notably as regards rational management of solid, liquid and hazardous waste. Other objectives include sustainable development of culture and tourism as well as modernisation of primary and secondary healthcare facilities and education infrastructures.

Sustainable growth and quality of life in Western Macedonia [approximately 9.1 % of total amount of funding]

This priority aims at multi-thematic intervention in the environmental, spatial planning and urban and rural development fields (notably in the areas of health, social welfare and education infrastructures).

Sustainable growth and quality of life in Eastern Macedonia & Thrace [approximately 9.1 % of total amount of funding]

This priority aims at the protection and rational management of the environment in an effort to ensure the health of the region’s population by improving the quality of education infrastructures and by promoting culture as a factor for the region’s economic development.

Technical assistance in the regions of Central Macedonia and Western Macedonia [approximately 1.1 % of total amount of funding]

The priority will focus on supporting those who benefit from co-funded actions in the regions of Central Macedonia and Western Macedonia.

Technical assistance in the region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace [approximately 0.4 % of total amount of funding]

The priority will focus on supporting those who benefit from co-funded actions in the regions of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace.

4. Managing Authority

Special Managing Service of the Regional Operational Programmes
Nikis 5-7
EL-101 80 Athens
Tel.: +30210 3332574
Fax.: +30210 3332731
E-mail.: glogothetis@mnec.gr
Ministry of Development and Competitiveness
Νίκης 5-7
EL-101 80 Αθήνα
Secretary General of Public Investment (NSRF)
Georg, YANNOUSSIS
Tel.: + 30 210 333 20 00
Web: Ministry for Development, Competitiveness & Shipping

Financial and Technical information

Title : Operational Programme 'Central Macedonia - Western Macedonia - Eastern Macedonia & Thrace'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007GR161PO008

Number of decision : C/2007/5337

Final approval date : 2007-10-26

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Accessibility to infrastructures and services in the region of Central Macedonia 340 290 000 69 710 000 410 000 000
Accessibility to infrastructures and services in the region of Western Macedonia 73 980 000 18 556 000 92 536 000
Accessibility to infrastructures and services in the region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace 211 600 000 48 597 000 260 197 000
Digital convergence and entrepreneurship in the region of Central Macedonia 517 917 000 96 723 000 614 640 000
Digital convergence and entrepreneurship in the region of Western Macedonia 95 540 000 28 020 000 123 560 000
Digital convergence and entrepreneurship in the region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace 16 000 000 7 301 000 23 301 000
Sustainable growth and quality of life in the region of Central Macedonia 895 039 000 183 961 000 1 079 000 000
Sustainable growth and quality of life in the region of Western Macedonia 243 980 000 55 524 000 299 504 000
Sustainable growth and quality of life in the region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace 242 800 000 62 395 000 305 195 000
Technical Assistance in the region of Central Macedonia and Western Macedonia 28 254 000 17 006 000 45 260 000
Technical Assistance in the region of Eastern Macedonia & Thrace 9 600 000 1 707 000 11 307 000
Total 2 675 000 000 589 500 000 3 264 500 000
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