Operational Programme 'Brussels Capital Region'

Programme under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 27 November 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for Brussels for the period 2007-2013. The programme partially covers the region.

This Operational Programme comes under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective and has a total budget of some 115 million euros. The financing contributed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is around 58 million euros, representing about 2.3% of total Community contributions to Belgium in the context of the 2007-2013 cohesion policy.

The national contribution provided for amounts to 58 million euros and may be partly met by Community loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and by other lending instruments.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The 2007-2013 Operational Programme aims in particular to:

  • achieve balanced territorial development of the Brussels Capital region;
  • reduce economic, social and environmental disparities in an area containing several rundown districts;
  • boost the economy and employment in this area;
  • make the area more attractive and improve the quality of life for its inhabitants, businesses and associations.

2. The expected impact of the investment

The aim is for the programme to create around 4 300 direct jobs by 2015. The expected overall impact, including indirect and derived effects, is estimated to be around 10 700 new jobs.

3. Priorities

The programme puts forward a development strategy based on:

  • the principle of territorial concentration, for which a priority area for assistance has been determined;
  • two thematic priorities: support for territorial competitiveness and strengthening territorial cohesion;
  • Horizontal priorities, including sustainable development, innovation, governance, partnership and equal opportunities.

This development strategy is based on the need to reduce the impact of growing economic inequality between areas within the Brussels region. Elements of the diagnosis and of the strategy were highlighted in the Contract for the Economy and Employment, Brussels’ contribution to the National Strategic Reference Framework for Belgium and the Regional Innovation Plan.

Moreover, in line with the Lisbon Strategy, the programme provides for assistance weighted according to the various aspects of sustainable urban development, focusing more particularly on support for economic development and employment.

The operational programme has three priorities:

Priority 1: Support for territorial competitiveness [around 62.5% of total investment]

The first priority aims to make the economy more dynamic and create jobs in the priority intervention zone (PIZ). The strategy aims to make rundown districts of Brussels more attractive and turn around their economic development and innovation prospects. It is important for these districts to develop dynamically in a competitive European environment. An analysis has led to the conclusion that the following two groups of needs must be met:

  • support for the development and start-up of economic activities;
  • support for the creation of an urban development centre associated with the environmental sectors of the economy.

Priority 2: Strengthening territorial cohesion [around 33.5% of total investment]

The aim of this priority is to reduce disparities within the region. The main objective is to make the area more attractive and improve the quality of life for its inhabitants, businesses and associations.

Two groups of actions have been identified:

  • improving the attractiveness and image of the area (the ERDF assistance should complement the various existing urban regeneration instruments, in particular by taking into account the wider dimension of the image and attractiveness needs to be met);
  • boosting local infrastructures associated with employment and training (the ERDF assistance must complement the policies of the regional and Community employment, early child care and training institutions).

Priority 3: Technical assistance [around 4% of total investment]

This priority aims to ensure effective and efficient implementation of all dimensions of the Operational Programme: management and coordination, financial management, follow-up and evaluation, monitoring, liaison and data exchange arrangements, communication and publicity. It also aims to provide quality support to project promoters throughout the life of the programme, from the call for projects stage onwards.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Brussels Capital Region'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Support for territorial competitiveness 35 937 698 35 937 698 71 875 396
Strengthening territorial cohesion 19 351 068 19 351 068 38 702 136
Technical assistance 2 303 699 2 303 699 4 607 398
Total 57 592 465 57 592 465 115 184 930