Operational Programme 'Austria - Hungary'

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


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On 20 December 2007, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between Austria and Hungary for the period 2007-13. The Programme involves providing Community support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for specific Austrian and Hungarian regions that lie along their common border: the Austrian Länder of Burgenland and Wien and the NUTS III region Wiener Umland-Südteil, as well as the NUTS II region Nyugat-Dunántúl with the counties of Győr-Moson-Sopron, Vas and Zala from the Hungarian side.

The adjoining Austrian NUTS III regions Niederösterreich-Süd and Oststeiermark may take part in projects as an adjacent area, i.e. receiving a maximum 20% of the ERDF funding allocated to the Programme. 

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €101 million. Community assistance through the ERDF amounts to some €82 million, which represents approximately 0.9% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-13.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The border region is rich in natural resources, ecosystems, a large number of thermal water areas and spas, and numerous common cultural heritage sites. The prosperous economy, emerging tourism (e.g. health spa and wellness) and growing suburban areas are increasing the flow of goods and people. However, these trends are having a harmful impact on the environment. The Programme therefore aims to reduce these negative effects with dynamic response structures and actions, further joint discussions and pilot actions on eco-mobility.

The focus is also on regional differences in the area covered, as indicators show a north-south development gap in certain areas as well as east-west differences across the region. The demographic situation will also receive special attention given the negative demographic trends in the south (decreasing population and emigration) in contrast to the positive demographic trends in the north (growing population and immigration).

2. Expected impact of investments

The Programme seeks to present a coherent and effective response to the obstacles and weaknesses of the region and defines suitable strategies for common future development of the region based on the experiences of the last Programme period and the conclusions of the regional analysis.

The expected impacts of the investments include economic, social, environmental and cultural development of the border region and reduced regional disparities. Through joint activities and the sustainable use of endogenous resources, the Programme should result in a prosperous region with cultural and ecological diversity and a high quality of life for its inhabitants. Several types of indicators (context, output, results, impact) will be used to assess the effect of the Programme investments in specific areas, including gross regional product, education and training activities, publicity initiatives, renewable energy production and transport infrastructure.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme is structured along the following priority axes:

Innovation, Integration and Competitiveness [approximately 38.1% of total funding]

The objective of priority 1 is to improve the competitiveness of the entire region and stimulate cooperation and innovation among its economic and social actors. This requires efforts focused on promoting economic cooperation, continuing the sustained growth in employment, and improving social infrastructure and public services.

Sustainable Development and Accessibility [approximately 52.1% of total funding]

The objective of priority 2 is to foster sustainable development, enhance the accessibility of the region and improve equality within the region. This requires interventions and activities aimed at improving eco-mobility, transport and regional accessibility, enhancing the cross-border governance system and improving natural resource management. There are strong links between environmental quality and economic development, and evidence shows that sustainable development – balanced economic, social and environmental development – is a common feature of regions that use knowledge and (technological) innovation effectively.

Technical Assistance for the Process of Cross-border Cooperation [approximately 9.8% of total funding]

Technical assistance will be provided for implementing the Programme. Financial support is also available and covers administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Austria - Hungary'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Innovation, Integration and Competitiveness 32 690 450 5 768 902 38 459 352
Sustainable Development and Accessibility 44 654 930 7 880 283 52 535 213
Technical Assistance for the Process of Cross-border Cooperation 4 934 929 4 934 929 9 869 858
Total 82 280 309 18 584 114 100 864 423