Operational Programme 'Belgium - France'

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

France

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On 15 November 2007, the European Commission approved a European Territorial Cooperation Programme for cross-border cooperation between Belgium and France for the 2007-2013 period.

The "INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen” Programme involves Community support for the 15 NUTS III border areas in both countries as well as 17 NUTS III areas within the European Territorial Cooperation Objective framework. The total budget of the Programme is just over €248 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to just over €138 million.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The "INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen” Programme is the fourth in a consecutive series of cross-border cooperation Programmes between the two countries – within the framework of the INTERREG Community Initiatives for the periods 1990-93, 1994-99 and 2000-06. The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to the realisation of the potential for sustainable economic development of the border area.

2. Expected impact of the investments

The Programme will employ indicators applicable to each priority, which allow for the evaluation of the future impact of the Programme on economic development, well-being of the population, the environment as well as on the identity of the Programme area.

The Programme will help reduce the negative effects of the administrative frontiers that separate the fields of research, trade, employment, social care, culture, risk prevention and risk management.

3. Priorities

The following priorities represent the structure of the Operational Programme “INTERREG IVA France-Wallonie-Vlaanderen”:

Priority 1: Economic development [approximately 31.3% of total funding]

Specific objectives of this priority include:

  • support to businesses, business support- and research organisations as well as training and human resources institutions to stimulate economic development, employment and innovation
  • identifying and supporting centres of excellence across the border area
  • Creating an image of the region as an attractive area for economic development.

Priority2: Develop the region's identity through culture and tourism [approximately 30.0% of total funding]

Specific objectives of this priority include:

  • increasing awareness of the area
  • attracting visitors to discover both sides of the border.

Both sides of the border offer numerous cultural and tourist attractions. Projects that contribute to developing a common identity in the area by promoting it towards the rest of Europe will receive financial support. The objective is to increase awareness about the area and to attract visitors who will discover both sides of the border (linked to the First World War, inland waterway tourism, industrial heritage tourism etc.).

Priority 3: Improve the service facilities accessible to the border population [approximately 12.6% of total funding]

This priority seeks to improve the range of services accessible to the population regardless of the fact that there is an administrative border between the neighbouring Member States. Therefore, this specific measure will develop joint infrastructures, joint equipment and joint services. The intention of this measure is to cover all aspects of everyday life, most notably the sectors of health care, social care, culture and education.

Priority 4: Joint management of the territory and living environment [approximately 20.2% of total funding]

The focus of this priority is to safeguard the environment in the border area and to promote sustainable urban and rural development. Significant natural resources can be found in the border area but also some high-risk activities that need to be managed jointly across the border. Several densely populated urban centres make-up the area as well as large rural areas with scarce populations. Both categories require joint attention.

Priority 5: Technical assistance [approximately 6.0% of total funding]

To implement the Programme, financial support will be available for administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Belgium - France'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no

2007CB163PO063

Number of decision

C/2007/5458

Final approval date

15/11/2007

Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Economic Development 43 187 721 35 335 409 78 523 130
Territory's identity 41 364 901 33 844 010 75 208 911
Belonging to a common space 17 371 135 11 580 757 28 951 892
Sustainable management 27 921 574 22 844 924 50 766 498
Technical assistance 8 288 000 6 781 091 15 069 091
Total 138 133 331 110 386 191 248 519 522