Operational Programme 'Grande Région'

Programme for Cross-border Cooperation under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, cofinanced by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 12 December 2007, the European Commission approved the operational programme for cross-border cooperation for the "Grande Région" for 2007-2013.

This operational programme is part of the “European territorial cooperation" objective, and its total budget is around 212 million euros. The assistance provided by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is 106 million euros, which represents around 1.2% of Community assistance to Belgium, Germany, France and Luxembourg.

The programme relates to Wallonia and the German-speaking Community in Belgium, Lorraine in France, the Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland in Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It also has 18 adjacent zones eligible to benefit from up to 20% of the ERDF contribution.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The aims of the actions developed in the context of this programme are to:

  • make the “Grande Région” more attractive;
  • encourage innovation and economic development, thus leading to the creation of better-quality jobs;
  • improve the range and potential of training structures.

This programme is also the concrete implementation for the “Grande Région” of the EU's strategic guidelines for 2007-2013.

2. The expected impact of the investment

The “Grande Région” enjoys a favourable geographical position. This Programme for Cross-border Cooperation, in line with the Lisbon and Gothenburg Strategies, should help to improve the competitiveness of this cross-border region and those living there, with a particular focus on the creation of added value and jobs. It should also boost the sustainable planning and development of the region, with particular emphasis on better management of mobility and the environment, better exploitation of cultural resources and greater social cohesion in the “Grande Région”.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme has four priorities:

Priority 1: Economy [around 44% of total investment]

This priority aims to support innovation, research and development (R&D), joint activities to develop the economic fabric, entrepreneurship, economic infrastructures, tourism and the cross-border labour market, in order to contribute to economic development and employment in the Grande Région.

Priority 2: Spatial planning [around 25% of total investment]

The aim here is to promote sustainable territorial development in order to make the “Grande Région” a well-structured, attractive and dynamic area with a high level of environmental protection.

Three main objectives underpin this priority area:

  • support for spatial planning policies;
  • improving mobility;
  • integrated use and protection of the environment.

Priority 3: Human resources [around 25% of total investment]

This priority aims to:

  • develop the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge;
  • exploit cultural resources;
  • strengthen social cohesion in the “Grande Région”.

In particular, this will involve supporting cooperation activities in education, initial training, vocational training and higher education. Cooperation in the areas of health care and personal services will also be supported. Furthermore, the programme will promote cross-border activities and projects with a cultural dimension.

Priority 4: Technical assistance [around 6% of total investment]

This priority will provide support for the implementation of an effective management, monitoring and control system to evaluate the programme and its projects and handle its communication and publicity.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Grande Région'

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
Economy 46 145 068 46 145 068 92 290 136
Spatial planning 26 719 528 26 719 528 53 439 056
Investing in people 26 772 130 26 772 130 53 544 260
Technical Assistance 6 359 791 6 359 791 12 719 582
Total 105 996 517 105 996 517 211 993 034