Operational Programme 'Mediterranean Programme'

Transnational Cooperation Operational 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 transnational cooperation Programme between Cyprus, France, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain (with participation of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania with IPA funds) for the period 2007-2013. The “Mediterranean” Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €256 million. Community funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €193 million, which represents approximately 2.2% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-2013. A budget of EUR6.4 million is devoted for the participation of the Western Balkan countries. Community funding through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) amounts to some EUR 5,4 million. The Managing Authority monitors also the IPA funds.

1. Purpose and aim of the Programme

The Programme aims to strengthen the region’s economy in order to ensure growth and employment for future generations. It also aims to support territorial cohesion and improve the region’s environmental protection and sustainable development credentials.

2. Expected impact of the investment

The Operational Programme aims to:

  • disseminate innovative technologies and know-how;
  • strengthen strategic cooperation between public authorities and economic development bodies;
  • protect and enhance natural resources and heritage;
  • promote renewable energy and energy efficiency;
  • reduce maritime risks and improve safety in the Mediterranean sea; and
  • improve accessibility to the sea and local ports through the use of intermodal transport solutions.

The Programme funds projects that aim to prevent and fight natural disasters. Money is also allocated to support better use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in remote areas and to strengthen cultural ties across the entire region. In addition, the Programme targets to deliver better coordination of development policies and improvements in territorial governance.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme is structured around the following priority axes:

Priority 1: Strengthening innovation capacities [approximately 30.0% of total funding]

The Mediterranean region’s technological, economic and organisational potential must be exploited to the full in order to guarantee a higher level of competitiveness, development and growth in the years to come.

The economy is characterised by regional disparities, and economic operators conduct their business in a very fragmented fashion. The Programme therefore aims to encourage the transfer of technology and know-how to strengthen synergies and generate critical mass between these economic operators. Support is being provided to diversify economic activity in the region’s poorer areas. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are also expected to strengthen their international links, with help from the Programme.

Priority 2: Protection of the environment and promotion of a sustainable territorial development [approximately 34.0% of total funding]

Because of its diverse geographical features, the Programme area is subject to a large number of environmental pressures that threaten its biodiversity, maritime habitat, water resources and cultural heritage. Human activity, such as over fishing and intensive agriculture, are the main culprits.

In response to these pressures, the Programme funds measures to protect the environment and promote sustainable development practices. Organisations in charge of regional development, planning and related sectors cooperate in order to ensure that the Mediterranean’s natural resources and heritage are responsibly managed, preserved and developed.

Priority 3: Improving mobility and territorial accessibility [approximately 20.0% of total funding]

Some parts of the Mediterranean – particularly isolated areas, islands and rural areas – are poorly connected to each other and to neighbouring regions. At the same time, economic development, tourism and a rise in the movement of goods and people are putting pressure on the Mediterranean’s coastal and urban areas, as well as on its main transport corridors.

This priority aims to bring about improvements to transport links to boost mobility and territorial linkages. ICTs also need to be harnessed more effectively to help link remote areas to the rest of society. Getting the most out of new technologies will also improve the economic, financial and administrative performance of the entire region.

Priority 4: Promotion of a polycentric and integrated MED space [approximately 10.0% of total funding]

Many urban centres covered by the Programme boast high levels of competitiveness, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and scientific capacity. These areas display concentrations of wealth and service levels that are in stark contrast to many of their rural hinterlands. The Programme aims to strengthen links between urban and rural areas and seek to improve governance on a range of relevant development issues. Such activities will help to boost competitiveness and ensure that territorial disparities do not grow wider.

The Programme will also promote initiatives that aim to enhance Mediterranean identity and culture in the face of challenges from economic globalisation and international competition.

Priority 5: Technical assistance [approximately 6.0% of total funding]

Technical assistance will be provided to help implement the Programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Mediterranean Programme'

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
Strengthening of innovation capacities 57 957 399 19 009 318 76 966 717
Environmental protection and promotion of sustainable territorial development 65 685 053 21 543 894 87 228 946
Improving mobility and territorial accessibility 38 638 266 12 672 879 51 311 145
Promotion of a polycentric and integrated Med space 19 319 133 6 336 439 25 655 572
Technical assistance 11 591 480 3 863 827 15 455 306
Total 193 191 331 63 426 357 256 617 686