Operational Programme 'Indian Ocean'

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


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On 27 March 2008 the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the Indian Ocean for the period 2007-2013. The programme covers both Réunion and the countries around the Indian Ocean, especially the southwest Indian Ocean countries which form the Indian Ocean Commission (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles).

This operational programme comes under the European Territorial Cooperation objective and has a total budget of about 47 million euros. The financing provided by the Community from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some 35 million euros, representing about 0.4% of Community aid under the European Territorial Cooperation objective as part of the cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

Financing from the European Development Fund (EDF) will be sought for the non-EU countries involved in this cooperation programme.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The transnational cooperation strategy in the Indian Ocean area for 2007-2013 constitutes the international strand of a wider development strategy, incorporating all European, national and regional public funding for the island of Réunion. It is particularly directed towards:

  • sustainable development;
  • enhancement of the environment;
  • regional economic integration;
  • human development and international solidarity in the Indian Ocean.

2. Expected impact of the investment

This transnational cooperation programme is based on a number of objectives:

  • to develop centres of regional expertise in the fields of health;
  • to conserve environmental and natural resources;
  • to conduct operations against natural hazards, in particular through the placing of an observation satellite;
  • to develop high-bandwidth communications by means of a digital cable system between the Indian Ocean islands;
  • to launch a number of surveillance operations in maritime areas;
  • to provide support to approximately 250 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to develop their economic cooperation activities;
  • to conduct projects related to training and education.

3. Priorities

The operational programme is centred on three priorities:

Priority 1: Sustainable development and the environment [about 43.5% of total investment]

The aim of this priority is to enhance the expertise that can contribute to sustainable development at regional level, strengthen the fight against natural hazards (cyclones, emerging diseases, etc) and develop the sector of research and innovation.

Priority 2: Regional economic integration [about 29% of total investment]

There are two main objectives under this priority: to support the Réunion private sector in economic cooperation projects and to promote the exchange of knowledge through the networking of skill centres, including in the fields of maritime safety and the management of fishery stocks.

Priority 3: Promote human development and international solidarity to ensure harmonious regional integration [about 27.5% of total investment]

The aim of this priority is to develop privileged links among the populations, with a view to promoting exchanges in the fields of sport and culture, and to support solidarity actions and develop cooperation measures in the areas of training, education and integration.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Indian Ocean'

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
Sustainable development and enhancement of the environment 15 400 000 5 133 333 20 533 333
Regional economic integration 10 344 560 3 448 187 13 792 747
Human development and international solidarity 9 702 000 3 234 000 12 936 000
Total 35 446 560 11 815 520 47 262 080