Operational Programme 'South Baltic'

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 South Baltic Cross-border Cooperation Programme for the period 2007-13. The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €75 million. Community funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €61 million, which represents approximately 0.7% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13.

The Programme covers the following areas:

- Poland - Szczeciński, Koszaliński, Słupski, Gdański and Gdańsk-Gdynia-Sopot sub-regions;

- Sweden - Kalmar, Blekinge and Skåne counties;

- Germany - Greifswald, Rostock, Stralsund, Wismar, Bad Doberan, Nordvorpommern, Nordwestmecklenburg, Ostvorpommern, Rügen and Uecker-Randow (sub-regions of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern);

- Denmark - the regional municipality of Bornholms;

- Lithuania - Klaipėdos county.

- Other regions in the countries can take part in the projects as adjacent areas, receiving a maximum 20% of the ERDF funding allocated to the Programme.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The overall objective of the Operational Programme is to strengthen the sustainable development of the South Baltic area through joint actions designed to increase its competitiveness and enhance integration among people and institutions.

The Programme covers a geographically large area of border regions of five EU Member States. Economic and social disparities between the Member States that joined the EU in 2004 and old Member States, are major challenges in terms of the competitiveness of the South Baltic area, its economic and social integration and its overall sustainable development. There is a need to improve cross-border structures throughout the area in an effort to foster interaction between local communities and governing institutions.

2. Expected impact of investments

Favourable conditions for growth and job creation over national borders represent one of the key expected impacts of the investments. Residents, tourists and investors in the South Baltic area will also benefit from efforts designed to safeguard the social, cultural and natural environment. Specific results include the generation of public and private investments through at least 14 projects, improved quality and interoperability of transport connections and services as a result of some five projects, and better institutional capacity in managing the Baltic Sea environment through a dozen or so targeted projects.

3. Priorities

The Programme focuses on the following priorities:

Priority 1: Economic Competitiveness [approximately 36.8% of total funding]

This priority aims to encourage actions that promote the integration of economic and labour markets in the area, cooperation in technical and higher education, transfer of knowledge and know-how between public and private actors and better transport connections.

Priority 2: Attractiveness and Common Identity [approximately 56.7% of total funding]

This priority aims to support the management of both environmental threats and actions designed to promote sustainable economic use of natural resources and cultural heritage, with particular attention paid to tourism, the development of renewable energy sources and energy savings, and local initiatives encouraging people-to-people contacts.

Priority 3: Technical Assistance [approximately 6.5% of total funding]

The aim here is to provide support to the participating countries for implementation of the Programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'South Baltic'

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 Competitiveness 22 472 194 5 271 255 27 743 449
Attractiveness and Common Identity 34 619 325 8 120 583 42 739 908
Technical Assistance 3 644 140 1 214 713 4 858 853
Total 60 735 659 14 606 551 75 342 210