Operational Programme 'Italy - Slovenia'

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 Italy and Slovenia for the period 2007-2013. The Programme involves providing Community support as part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for specific Italian and Slovenian regions that lie along their common border: the Italian regions of Trieste, Gorizia, Udine, Venezia, Rovigo, Padova, Ferrara and Ravenna and Slovenian regions Goriška, Obalno-Kraška and Gorenjska. The areas of Osrednjeslovenska in Slovenia, and Pordenone and Treviso in Italy 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 €136 million. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €116 million, which represents approximately 1.3% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

Following the enlargement of the European Union, the Programme area has gained great strategic importance at both European and international level, turning from a peripheral area into a geographically central area of the new enlarged Europe. In years to come, the main challenge will be transforming and developing the cultural, economic and social variances and differences into “added value”, built on experiences to date.

The overall aim of the Programme is therefore to strengthen the cooperation area, enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of the area, and make it more sustainability-oriented, with account taken of its expansion into new territorial areas and the increased diversity that stems from this.

2. Expected impact of investments

A number of specific indicators will be used to measure impacts in terms of both the Programme and the priorities. The following are some examples of the impacts expected:

  • 20 municipalities/public bodies per year involved in reducing energy consumption and promoting the use of renewable energy sources;
  • 5 cross-border networks set up per year for professional training;
  • 50 people per year securing a job as a result of a cross-border training project;
  • 5 000 participants per year at cultural events;
  • 5 networks created in the tourism sector.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Environment, Transport and Sustainable Territorial Integration [approximately 37% of total funding]

This priority is based on the potentials and assets of the Programme area, which can be further developed in order to improve the quality of life of present and future generations, namely through the management and sustainable development of its natural resources, the increased use of renewable and alternative energy sources and the improvement of integrated transport systems. The priority looks to achieve the following operational objectives:

  • protecting bio-diversity and ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources;
  • protecting the environment against natural and technological risks and pollution, decreasing energy consumption and increasing the use of alternative renewable energy sources;
  • improving accessibility and transport systems and increasing the integration between urban and rural areas;
  • strengthening territorial integration within bordering areas.

Priority 2: Competitiveness and a Knowledge-based Society [approximately 29% of total funding]

This second priority is designed as a main line of action in the strategic framework of the Programme, and is aimed at directly fostering competitiveness mainly through modernisation and innovation efforts targeting the economic structure of the eligible area. Past experiences have proven valuable in different contexts, as has the knowledge gained, however this has not taken place to the same extent in all areas. The approach under this priority is based on joint research and innovation initiatives, which are respectful of the environment and aimed at increasing the competitiveness and the development of a knowledge-based society in the area. It will contribute to:

  • increasing the competitiveness of enterprises;
  • jointly developing tourism potential;
  • improving employment potential and qualifications through coordinated higher education and training;
  • promoting research and innovation for development of a knowledge-based economy.

Priority 3: Social Integration [approximately 28% of total funding]

One of the most important goals of the Programme is to improve communication and social and cultural cooperation so as to satisfy citizens’ increasing demands for better support services and shared knowledge and also to remove historical, cultural and social barriers that are still in place. These objectives should be achieved by enhancing existing cooperation through both the preservation of historical, cultural and linguistic heritage and the encouragement of networking among Italian and Slovenian institutions. This priority also aims to achieve the following operational objectives:

  • strengthening communication and education systems;
  • preserving the knowledge and use of cultural heritage and improving cultural exchanges;
  • increasing the quality of life through the coordinated development of health and social systems.

Priority 4: Technical Assistance [approximately 6% of total funding]

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

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Italy - Slovenia'

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
Environment, Transport and Sustainable Territorial Integration 42 996 564 7 587 629 50 584 193
Competitiveness and a Knowledge-based Society 33 700 010 5 947 060 39 647 070
Social Integration 32 537 941 5 741 990 38 279 931
Technical Assistance 6 972 416 1 230 426 8 202 842
Total 116 206 931 20 507 105 136 714 036