Operational Programme 'Greece-Italy'

Programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the European territorial cooperation objective


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On 28 March 2008, the European Commission approved a Cross-border Cooperation Operational Programme between Greece and Italy for the period 2007-2013.The programme provides Community support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for specific Greek and Italian regions along their common border:

Greece: the nomes of Achaia and Aetolia-Acarnania (Western Greece); the nomes of Kerkyra, Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos (Region of Ionian Islands); and the nomes of Ioannina, Thesprotia and Preveza (region of Epirus).

Italy: the provinces of Bari, Brindisi and Lecce.

Other eligible adjacent regions (with a maximum of 20 % of the ERDF funding allocated to the Programme) include the Greek nomes of Ilia and Arta, together with the Italian provinces of Taranto and Foggia.

The operational programme falls under the European territorial cooperation objective and has a total budget of around EUR 118 million.The Community aid provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some 89 million euros, representing about 1.0 % of total EU funding allocated to the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-2013.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The Programme aims to connect markets and communities by improving their accessibility. It will enable know-how transfer in the region covered by the intervention and lay the foundations of future common structures for sustainable development. Stimulating human and economic capital in the cross-border region will accelerate its integration into the world economy.The Programme will also improve internal cohesion, make the area more attractive to investors and help protect the environment.

The overall objective of the programme is to strengthen the competitiveness and territorial cohesion in the region for sustainable development by combining the potential on both sides of the border.This result will be achieved by strengthening competitiveness and innovation and by improving accessibility, especially regional networks and services.The Programme also seeks to improve quality of life, help preserve and manage the environment, and increase social and cultural cohesion.

2. Expected impact of investments

The Operational programme aims in particular to linking competitiveness and innovation with the labour market by improving accessibility and quality of life in the cross-border region. A recent analysis clearly identified the competitive advantages of the cooperation area due to its geographical location and its tourism, culture and marine resources; but it also has specific disadvantages, as the weakness of its gross domestic product (GDP) and low expenditure on research and development.

The programme also aims to exploit the relative advantages of the region to pursue the development of the cross-border region. In parallel, measures will be taken to remedy weaknesses.


The Operational Programme is structured around the following priorities:

Priority 1: strengthening competitiveness and innovation [approximately 28.0 % of total funding]

This priority aims above all to improve competitiveness and innovation capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The measures will seek primarily to stimulate applied research to contribute to the sustainable development of the region covered by the programme.This result may be achieved by encouraging cross-border economic cooperation between local administrative bodies and by strengthening interaction between SMEs, public authorities and research organisations

The main goal is to incorporate innovation into the production process through exchange of best practices and training, which should lead to the creation of new markets and cutting-edge technologies.

Priority 2: improving access to sustainable networks and services [approximately 25.0 % of total funding]

The aim is to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of transport and communications systems by strengthening the networking capacities of relevant institutions, such as port and airport authorities and local public transport companies. Structural integration should also be improved through the use of new technologies in the fields of telecommunications, IT and transport.

The objective of the programme is to enhance cross-border connections in an integrated and sustainable way. It should also help to improve networks and services for transport, IT and communications.

Priority 3: improving the quality of life, protecting the environment and strengthening the social and cultural cohesion [approximately 41.0 % of total funding]

This priority aims to improve the population’s quality of life by promoting cultural heritage and social integration, and by developing better ways to protect and manage environmental resources. It also intends to protect the health of the population and to identify ways to reduce natural and technological risks. All this following the sustainable development principles.

Priority 4: technical assistance [approximately 6.0 % of total funding]

The programme builds on technical assistance during its implementation. Financial support can cover administration, monitoring, evaluation and control of the programme.


Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Greece-Italy'

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
Renforcer la compétitivité et l’innovation 24 907 448 8 302 482 33 209 930
Améliorer l’accès à des réseaux et des services durables 22 238 792 7 412 931 29 651 723
Améliorer la qualité de vie, protéger l’environnement et renforcer la cohésion sociale et culturelle 36 471 620 12 157 206 48 628 826
Assistance technique 5 337 310 1 779 104 7 116 414
Total 88 955 170 29 651 723 118 606 893