Operational Programme 'Romania-Bulgaria'

Programme under the European Territorial Co-operation Objective, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 18 December 2007, the European Commission approved a cross-border co-operation programme between Romania and Bulgaria for the period 2007-2013. The programme involves Community support for 15 NUTS 3 regions, seven in Romania (counties of Mehedinti, Dolj, Olt, Teleorman, Giurgiu, Calarasi and Constanta) and seven in Bulgaria (districts of Vidin, Vratsa, Montana, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Ruse Silistra and Dobrich). In addition to these districts, Razgrad district in Bulgaria has been included in the eligible programme area in accordance with the flexibility rule contained in Article 21(1) of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Regulation.

The total budget of the programme is €262 million, with Community assistance through the ERDF amounting to €218 million. This represents approximately 2.5% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Co-operation Objective under the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The eligible area is characterised by problems typical of border areas, where marginality and isolation from the economic and decision-making centres are increased by the presence of borders which limit economic, social and cultural exchanges and affect the joint, efficient and effective management of the territory.

The cross-border area is not homogenous and lacks an identity as a region. An analysis of the current socio-economic situation indicates sluggish economic development, growth and job creation, but the potential for beneficial cross-border co-operation exists. From an environmental point of view, the area also possesses rich and varied but highly vulnerable landscapes, ecosystems and morphology.

The overall strategic goal of the programme is therefore to bring together the people, communities and economies of the Romania-Bulgaria border area and support them in the joint development of a co-operative area, drawing on its human, natural and environmental resources and advantages, all using a sustainable approach.

2. Expected impact of investments

The programme is expected to have a significant impact on economic development, the environment and mobility in the cross-border region. Sustainability will underlie all efforts undertaken during the programming period. The following are some of the expected results:

  • 3 200 000 people with access to ICT facilities;
  • 30 projects developing joint management systems for environmental protection;
  • 100 projects on raising awareness about environmental protection and management;
  • 70% of the Danube set up with joint flood prevention systems in the cross-border area;
  • 500 SMEs benefiting from business facilities;
  • 360 000 people informed about employment opportunities;
  • 3 500 people graduating through cross-border training courses.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme is structured according to the following priorities:

Priority 1: Accessibility [approximately 36.4% of total funding]

The priority aims at improving mobility and access to transport infrastructure in the cross-border area. The specific objectives are to improve cross-border mobility by improving existing conditions and developing new facilities for transport in the eligible area, and to enable efficient regular exchange of information and data of cross-border relevance.

Priority 2: Environment [approximately 34.3% of total funding]

This priority aims at sustainable use and protection of natural resources and the environment, and promotion of efficient risk management in the cross-border area. The objectives are as follows: to ensure effective protection and use of the area’s natural assets through coordinated joint management systems; to increase awareness on environmental protection and management in the cross-border area; and to protect the local population, businesses, environment and infrastructure from the potentially disastrous consequences of natural and human-made crises.

Priority 3: Economic and Social Development [approximately 21.6% of total funding]

The third priority is aimed at increasing economic development and social cohesion through joint identification and enhancement of the area’s comparative advantages. The objectives are to develop cross-border business infrastructure and services, joint integrated tourism products, co-operation between universities, research institutes and businesses, information sharing on employment opportunities, training services for employment, and linkages and exchanges between education/training centres. The programme is also designed to strengthen social and cultural coherence and co-operation among local people and communities in the area covered.

Priority 4: Technical Assistance [approximately 7.7% of total funding]

This priority will support the programme’s implementation. It will provide overall assistance for project preparation, programme management and implementation, and publicity and evaluation.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Romania-Bulgaria'

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
Accessibility 80 594 790 14 832 151 95 426 941
Environment 76 238 315 13 646 018 89 884 333
Economic and Social Development 47 921 227 8 577 497 56 498 724
Technical Assistance 13 069 425 7 124 118 20 193 543
Total 217 823 757 44 179 784 262 003 541