Operational Programme 'Italy - Austria'

Programme under the European territorial co-operation objective, co-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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The European Commission approved on 18 September 2007 a European territorial co-operation programme for cross-border co-operation between Italy and Austria for the period 2007-2013, the "INTERREG IV A Italy - Austria".

This programme involves Community support for the regions of Bolzano/Bozen, Belluno, Udine, Klagenfurt-Villach, Oberkärnten, Pinzgau-Pongau, Tiroler Oberland, Innsbruck, Tiroler Unterland and Osttirol along the Italian – Austrian border. Other regions of both countries can participate in the projects as adjacent areas receiving a maximum of 20% of the ERDF funding allocated to the programme. These regions are Gorizia, Pordenone, Treviso, Vicenza, Außerfern, Lungau, Unterkärnten, Salzburg und Umgebung.

The total budget of the programme is EUR 80 million and Community investment through the ERDF amounts to EUR 60 million.

The programme affects 37,939 Km2 of both countries with a population of 2.5 million. The eligible area of the programme is less than 10% of both countries, with less than 4% of its total population. The rate of employment is 67.6% compared to 57.6% in Italy and 67.8% in Austria. The GNP of the area amounts to 4.4 % of Italy and Austria.

1. The purpose and aim of the programme

The overall objective of the programme is to promote sustainable development and economic competitiveness of the Italian–Austrian border region through an integrated and cross-border approach to economic, social and environmental development in ways which involve and benefit local people and communities.

The trend established through previous, successive programmes will focus in this programme on:

  • improvement of economic relations and of competitiveness,
  • management of the environment and sustainable development of the territory,
  • support for the evaluation and improvement of administrative capacity.

2. The expected impact of the programme

The results achieved by previous programmes regarding the establishment of cooperation between partners in both countries, shall continue with new orientations regarding a more intense territorial integration approach and focusing programme interventions on co-operation and joint management of infrastructure, equipment and services.

A series of indicators, applicable to each of the programme priorities, will enable evaluation of the impact of the programme on, for instance, effects on the population of the area, on the partnership and joint management of cooperation projects, on the development of joint spatial planning projects, on the joint use of infrastructure, equipment and services, etc.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme for "INTERREG IV A Italy - Austria" is structured into the following priorities:

Priority 1: Economic Relations, competitiveness and diversification

Boost economic relations and competitiveness of enterprises of the crossborder area in the context of the globalisation with a view to sustainability through innovation, entrepreneurship and increase of the knowledge economy by enhancing innovation, including new information and communication technologies, by creating more jobs of higher quality and improving the adaptability of workers and companies.

Priority 2: Territory and sustainability

This priority aims to improve the attractiveness of the region by managing the environment and sustaining the development of the territory through protection of natural and cultural areas, promotion of biodiversity, prevention of natural and technological risks, promotion of renewable energies, reduction of administrative barriers, improvement of accessibility and upgrading of health and social sectors.

Priority 3: Technical assistance

This priority is meant for the management of the programme including information and communication activities. Financial support is available to cover administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Italy - Austria'

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
Economic Relations, competitiveness and diversification 25 069 072 8 356 357 33 425 429
Territory and sustainability 31 401 116 10 467 039 41 868 155
Technical assistance to the process of cross-border cooperation 3 604 480 1 201 493 4 805 973
Total 60 074 668 20 024 889 80 099 557