Operational Programme 'South West Europe'

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

France

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On 26 September 2007, the European Commission approved a European Territorial Cooperation Programme for transnational cooperation between Spain, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom for the period 2007-2013.

The Transnational Cooperation Programme involves Community support for 30 NUTS II areas in the participating countries, including the whole territory of Spain with the exception of the Canary Islands, the whole territory of Portugal, the southern regions of France and Gibraltar. The programme affects a population of about 62 million people (2003) living in the eligible area of 770 000 km².

The Operational Programme falls within the European Territorial Cooperation Objective framework and has a total budget of around €132 million. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €99 million.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The adopted Programme is the second Transnational Cooperation Programme in the area, after the first programme in the INTERREG Community Initiative framework for the 2000-2006 period.

The main goal of the Programme is to develop the regions in Southwest Europe by cooperating in the fields of competitiveness, innovation, environmental protection, sustainable development and regional planning. The Operational Programme will thus contribute to a balanced integration of the participating regions as well as EU-wide economic and social cohesion. The final goal is to consolidate the existing cooperation structures and to achieve tangible results, as concrete achievements are indispensable to guarantee the visibility of transnational cooperation.

For the period 2007-13, the new transnational cooperation approach will focus on:

  • a long-term strategic approach
  • transfer of know-how and cross-fertilisation between projects that address similar issues
  • transnational issues of interest for the entire area.

2. Expected impact of investments

After the previous INTERREG III B programme, the Programme aims to achieve cooperation area consolidation. Cooperation must become more intense between the partners of the participating countries, in particular when it comes to project partnerships. Therefore, the current Programme will focus on specific issues that benefit the entire area. Participating countries will identify key issues and avoid assistance resource mismanagement.

A series of indicators will monitor and quantify programme performance levels as well as the accomplishment levels of its objectives and priorities.

Priority axes

Specific objectives of the “Southwest Europe 2007” Operational Programme include:

  • innovation and networks support
  • environmental protection
  • information networks accessibility
  • sustainable urban development.

Priority axis 1: Promotion of innovation and establishment of sustainable networks in the field of technological cooperation [approximately 33.0% of total funding]

Specific objectives under this priority axis are:

  • developing technological research activities and pilot actions
  • creating networks for the development, transfer and exchange of new knowledge and innovations
  • competitiveness and innovation capacity reinforcement in key economic sectors of the Southwest Europe.

Priority axis 2: Improving sustainability in order to protect and conserve the environment and the natural heritage of the Southwest Europe area [approximately 23.6% of total funding]

Activities under this priority axis include:

  • preserving, protecting and improving the patrimonial value of natural resources and regions
  • improving management of natural resources, in particular by promoting energy efficiency and sustainable use of water resources
  • encouraging cooperation strategies for natural disaster prevention, especially strategies related to fires, floods, earthquakes, deforestation, desertification and pollution.

Priority axis 3: Harmonious integration of the Southwest Europe area and improving the accessibility to information networks [approximately 23.6% of total funding]

This priority axis aims to develop solutions in the field of transport multi-modality and interconnecting networks according to transnational priorities. Other measures will promote conditions for balanced territorial development through access to communication infrastructures and data.

Priority axis 4: Promotion of sustainable urban development based on transnational cooperation [approximately 14.2% of total funding]

Specific objectives of this priority axis include:

  • exploiting synergies between urban and rural areas to give impetus to the sustainable development of the Southwest Europe area
  • including Southwest Europe’s cooperation networks and thereby increasing the socio-economic dynamism of its regions and municipalities
  • developing the cultural heritage of transnational interest and improving the identity of the Southwest Europe area.

Priority axis 5: Technical assistance [approximately 5.6% of total funding]

The Programme will use technical assistance to implement its aims. Technical assistance will include administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'South West Europe'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no

2007CB163PO008

Number of decision

C/2007/4347 final

Final approval date

26/09/2007

Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Promotion of innovation and establishment of sustainable networks in the field of technological cooperation 32 707 028 10 902 819 43 609 847
Improving sustainability in order to protect and conserve the environment and the natural heritage of the Southwest Europe area 23 362 163 7 787 728 31 149 891
Harmonious integration of the Southwest Europe area and improving the accessibility to information networks 23 362 163 7 787 728 31 149 891
Promotion of sustainable urban development on the basis of transnational cooperation 14 017 298 4 672 637 18 689 935
Technical assistance 5 964 807 1 491 267 7 456 074
Total 99 413 459 32 642 179 132 055 638