Navigation path

Additional tools

Development programmes

Ireland, Spain, France, Portugal, United Kingdom

Operational Programme 'Atlantic Area'

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

The European Commission approved on 20 September 2007 a European territorial cooperation programme for transnational cooperation between Ireland, Spain, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom for the period 2007-2013.

The Transnational Cooperation Operational Programme "Atlantic Area 2007-2013" involves Community support for 33 NUTS II coastal areas in the participating countries, from the straight of Gibraltar to the North of Scotland. The programme affects a population of about 56 million people (2005) living in an the eligible area of 594.000 Km².

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European territorial cooperation objective and has a total budget of around € 159 million. Community investment through the ERDF amounts to around € 104 million.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme


The "Atlantic Area 2007-2013" programme is the fourth transnational cooperation programme in the area following the INTERREG Community Initiatives in the periods 1990-1993, 1994-1999 and 2000-2006.

Within the priorities set by the European territorial cooperation objective, the main goal of the Operational Programme is to contribute to the territorial cohesion of the Atlantic Area through the reinforcement of the cooperation between the participating Member States. In order to consolidate existing cooperation structures and to achieve tangible results in terms of development of the knowledge economy the "Atlantic Area 2007-2013" programme seeks to:

  • enhance the Atlantic maritime heritage;
  • valorise the maritime resources of the Atlantic area;
  • contribute to the emergence of new economic activity clusters;
  • promote accessibility and logistic conditions;
  • contribute to the balanced and sustainable development of the Atlantic area.

This implies a substantial change in the overall programme objectives in comparison to the previous programmes, in which many projects were limited to studies or exchange of information. The new type of transnational cooperation in the framework of the "Atlantic Area 2007-2013" programme focuses on concrete achievements, a long term strategic approach, the exchange of experience as well as the transfer of know how and cross fertilisation between projects that address similar issues.

2. Expected impact of the investments

On the basis of the good results achieved by the previous INTERREG Community Initiatives regarding effective cooperation and project partnerships between the participating countries the "Atlantic Area 2007-2013" programme seeks a further intensification of the cooperation and the concentration on a few selected thematic priorities.

A series of indicators updated in 2011 at project and programme level is applicable to each of the programme priorities and will permit to monitor and quantify the programme performance and the accomplishment of its objectives.

3. Priorities

The "Atlantic Area 2007-2013" programme contains four thematic fields of intervention for the transnational strand of the European territorial cooperation objective:

  • innovation (including knowledge economy) (1);
  • environment (including maritime heritage) (2);
  • accessibility (3);
  • sustainable urban development (including intensification of interregional exchanges) (4).

The Operational Programme "Atlantic Area 2007-2013" is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Promote transnational entrepreneurial and innovation networks

Specific objectives of this priority include:

  • the development of knowledge transfers between companies and research centres;
  • the enhancement of competitiveness and innovation capacities in the maritime economy of the Atlantic area;
  • the stimulation of economic conversion and diversification by promoting regional potential.

Priority 2: Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment sustainably

Specific objectives of this priority include:

  • the improvement of maritime safety;
  • the sustainable management and protection of the resources of marine spaces;
  • the exploitation of the renewable energy potential of the marine and coastal environment of the Atlantic area;
  • the protection and promotion of natural spaces, water resources and coastal zones.

Priority 3: Improve accessibility and internal links

Specific objectives include:

  • the promotion of the interoperability and continuity of existing transport networks as well as sea, road, rail and air intermodality;
  • the promotion of short sea shipping (SSS) and cooperation between ports.

Priority 4: Promote transnational synergies in sustainable urban and regional development

Specific objectives of this priority include:

  • the pooling of resources and skills in the field of sustainable urban and rural development in the Atlantic area;
  • the increase of the influence of cities and regions and their attractiveness trough networking;
  • the conservation and promotion of the Atlantic cultural heritage.

Priority 5: Technical assistance

The Operational Programme provides for technical assistance in order to implement the “Atlantic Area 2007-2013" programme. Financial support is available for administration, monitoring, evaluation and control of the programme.

4. Managing Authority

Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Norte (CCDR-N)
Rua Rainha D. Estefânia, 251
P-4150-034 Porto
Teresa, Lameiras
Web: Atlantic Area

Financial and Technical information

Title : Operational Programme 'Atlantic Area'

Intervention Type : Operational Programme

CCI no : 2007CB163PO029

Number of decision : C/2007/4292

Final approval date : 2007-09-20

Breakdown of finances by priority axis
Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Promote transnational entrepreneurial and innovation networks 27 352 061 14 728 033 42 080 094
Protect, secure and enhance the marine and coastal environment sustainably 37 704 800 20 302 585 58 007 385
Improve accessibility and internal links 18 433 632 9 925 802 28 359 434
Promote transnational synergies in sustainable urban and regional development 14 317 666 7 709 512 22 027 178
Technical assistance 6 243 074 2 081 025 8 324 099
Total 104 051 233 54 746 957 158 798 190
EU Regional Policy: Stay informed