Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Creţu adopted today the 2014-2020 Operational Programme for Eastern Poland. The Programme, worth €2 billion from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) aims to boost further growth in Eastern Poland and make the macro-region a more attractive place to live and invest in.
The programme will help to tackle the challenges common to the five regions of Eastern Poland (Warminsko-Mazurskie, Podlaskie, Lubelskie, Podkarpackie and Świętokrzyskie), which consist of making this territory interesting for young people, increasing levels of entrepreneurial activity as well as improving road and railway transport infrastructure.
Welcoming the adoption European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: "We expect the Operational Programme for Eastern Poland to give a truly new boost to the economy of this historically disadvantaged but fast-growing part of Poland. The macro-region has an immense development potential, in particular in terms of skilful and motivated young people that should be harnessed and further supported. We hope that by creating adequate living and working conditions for business and citizens, we can turn Eastern Poland into a dynamic and thriving hub of Polish economy”.
Almost 62% of the funding will be dedicated to transport infrastructure, among which 20% for clean urban transport solutions and 17% for macro-regional railways. Special attention is given to the capital cities as catalysts for economic growth and socio-economic integration. The planned investments in road and rail networks will improve accessibility in those cities, increase professional mobility and attract the knowledge community.
The programme also seeks to increase the number of innovative companies. A particular emphasis is put on young entrepreneurship. One of the ambitious goals is to support the creation of more than 900 highly innovative start-ups by young people under 35 years old. The programme will also provide important mentoring assistance in order to help local SMEs adjust to emerging and even more demanding market requirements.
Eastern Poland comprises Lublin, Podkarpackie, Podlaskie, Świętokrzyskie and Warmian-Masurian voivodeships. The 2014-2020 Programme "Eastern Poland" guarantees the continuation of important investments that were already initiated in the macro-region in the last programming period 2007-2013.
OP Budget breakdown:
Total value: €2 352 941 179
Total European contribution: €2 000 000 000