Operational Programme 'France - Spain - Andorra'
Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
On 18 December 2007, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between France, Spain and Andorra for the period 2007-2013. The Programme involves providing Community support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for specific French, Spanish regions that lie along their common border and Andorra. The Programme involves Community support for the 10 NUTS III border areas of both countries, plus 11 NUTS III adjacent areas.
The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €257 million. Community funding through the ERDF amounts to some €168 million, which represents approximately % of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013.
The Programme affects a population of about 5 million people (2004). The population density presents large variations within the large mountainous area defined by the Pyrenees. The eligible area covers 74.000km2 directly; while, if the adjacent areas are also taken into account, the eligible area would cover nearly double that amount – or 146.000km2.
1. Aim and purpose of the Programme
The adopted Programme is a continuation of three generations of cross-border cooperation programmes between these countries in the framework of the INTERREG Community Initiative.
The general objective of the cross border cooperation between France, Spain and Andorra for the 2007-2013 period is to strengthen economic and social integration of the cross-border area through cooperation. The new Programme is directed towards competitiveness improvements, employment promotion and socio-economic enhancement and institutional integration in the border regions. The objective of the Programme reflects overall continuity of cooperation programmes while incorporating a new strategic approach. Focus will be placed on achieving real impact with the financed operations taking into account experiences previously gained.
The cross-border cooperation in the current period will focus on:
- Economic cooperation, innovation and human capital development contributing to territorial integration;
- Environmental protection, preservation of natural and cultural heritage; and
- Quality of life improvement by territorial restructuring and sustainable development.
2. Expected impact of investments
The good results achieved by the previous programmes in consolidating real cooperation between partners of the participating countries shall continue with a more intense territorial integration approach – and joint infrastructure, equipment and service management focus.
A series of indicators, applicable to each Programme priority, will permit the evaluation for the Programme impact on the economy, the environment and the population of the area as a whole. Strong focus will be placed on measuring the approach toward implementing partnerships.
The Programme's strategy focuses on improving and reinforcing the complementarities of the border area. Its priorities are the following:
- Cross-border integration: economic development, research and training;
- Natural heritage and prevention of the risks, tourism and local products;
- Accessibility, territorial structure and sustainable development.
Priority 1: Cross-border integration: economic development, research and training [approximately 30.0% of total funding]
There is a need to stimulate the development of cross border economic activities in the eligible area and, in particular, for the benefit of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Innovation, research and local employment action support are at the centre of attention. In this respect, equal opportunities and equal treatment between men and women in the labour market and employer and employee adaptability on the border regions are critical.
Priority 2: Natural heritage and risk prevention, tourism and local products [approximately 32.0% of total funding]
This priority aims to strengthen co-operation towards concerted and careful management of both environmental resources and the rich natural and cultural heritage characteristic of the eligible area. Landscape quality, conservation of the numerous protected natural spaces, water quality improvement (river and maritime) and the management of coastal areas will be covered by this priority. The prevention of natural and technological hazards, particularly at risk flood- and fire-prone areas will receives special attention. The activities related to sustainable tourism and the development of the local products are also covered by this priority.
Priority 3: Accessibility, territorial structure and sustainable development [approximately 32.0% of total funding]
The focus of this priority is on accessibility, shared resource management and on proximity actions in the field of education, health, culture etc in order to improve the life of citizens by eliminating obstacles related to the border while respecting the social aspects of sustainable development. This priority also includes filling the gap of availability of ICT infrastructures that support the cross-border structuring of the territory. Particular attention is paid to development of the cross-border area based on an inter-connected network of small cities and on urban-rural links.
Priority 4: Technical assistance to the process of cross-border cooperation [approximately 6.0% of total funding]
There is also provision for technical assistance to implement the Programme. Financial support is available covering administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.
Financial and Technical information
Operational Programme 'France - Spain - Andorra'
Intervention TypeOperational Programme
Number of decisionC(2011)1034
Final approval date22/02/2011
Breakdown of finances by priority axis
|Priority Axis||EU Investment||National Public Contribution||Total Public Contribution|
|Cross-border integration: economic development, research and training||50 592 446||27 242 086||77 834 532|
|Natural heritage and prevention of the risks, tourism and local products||53 965 275||29 058 225||83 023 500|
|Accessibility, territorial structure and sustainable development||53 965 275||29 058 225||83 023 500|
|Technical assistance to the process of cross-border cooperation||10 118 489||3 372 830||13 491 319|
|Total||168 641 485||88 731 366||257 372 851|