Operational Programme 'Spain - Portugal'
Programme under the European territorial cooperation objective co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The European Commission approved on 25 October 2007 a European territorial cooperation programme for cross-border cooperation between Spain and Portugal for the period 2007-2013 ("Operational Programme for Cross-border Cooperation: Spain – Portugal, 2007-2013").
This programme involves Community support for the 17 NUTS III border areas in both countries, plus 16 NUTS III adjacent areas, within the framework of the European territorial cooperation objective. The total budget for the programme is worth some € 354 million, with Community funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounting to around € 267 million.
The programme involves 1 234 km of border between the two countries. The original eligible area for the programme -- the 17 NUTS III areas -- accounts for 23.5% of the Iberian Peninsula, 10.6% of its total population and 9.6% of employment. Area GNP amounts to 7.5% of Iberian GNP.
1. Programme purpose and aim
The adopted programme is the fourth in a consecutive series of cross-border cooperation programmes between both countries within the framework of the INTERREG Community Initiative for the periods 1990-1993, 1994-1999 and 2000-2006.
The overall objective of the programme is to develop further and broaden the common border areas of both countries within the priorities set by the new European territorial cooperation objective. This marks a substantial shift in the overall programme objectives, away from previous programmes, that is geared chiefly towards improving connectivity and basic infrastructures in the border areas and towards a new approach aimed at improving competitiveness, promoting employment and enhancing socio-economic and institutional integration in the border regions.
The trend established through successive programmes has led to a new type of cross-border cooperation in the current period that focuses on:
- reinforcement of the immaterial component of the interventions;
- widening of the scope of stakeholders in the cooperation process;
- more intense cooperation in all phases of the development of interventions (design, development and operation, joint management);
- strengthening of joint cooperation structures.
2. Expected programme impact
The positive results achieved under the previous programmes for the establishment of real cooperation between the partners from both countries will continue under the new orientations, the aim being to develop a more intensive approach to territorial integration and also focus programme interventions on cooperation and the joint management of infrastructures, equipment and services.
A series of indicators, applicable to each of the programme priorities, will make it possible to evaluate the programme’s effects in fields such as its impact on the area’s population, on the partnership and joint management of cooperation projects, on the development of joint spatial planning projects, and on the joint use of infrastructure, equipment and services, etc.
In accordance with the Lisbon Strategy objectives, the strategic guidelines of the "Operational Programme for Cross-border Cooperation: Spain – Portugal, 2007-2013" are the development of joint economic, social and environmental cross-border activities geared towards sustainable territorial development, chiefly through:
- support and encouragement for entrepreneurial activities, the expansion of SMEs and the development of cross-border tourism, culture and commerce;
- joint management and protection of the environment and risk prevention;
- support for connectivity between urban and rural areas and the reduction of isolation through the improvement of access to transport, information and communication networks, as well as better cross-border access to energy and water supply and waste management services;
- support for cooperation in the development and joint use of common infrastructures, equipment and services in areas such as health, culture and education.
The "Operational Programme for Cross-border Cooperation: Spain – Portugal, 2007-2013" is structured into the following priorities:
Priority 1: Cooperation and joint management for the improvement of competitiveness and the promotion of employment
Specific objectives are: improving regional resources through the promotion of joint innovation and technological development structures between research centres on both sides of the border; promoting joint growth and improving public services through the use of information and communication technologies; promoting the development of local economies and of competitiveness and job creation within them; and promoting and stepping up links between companies and organisations in order to better explore business opportunities within a cross-border context.
Priority 2: Cooperation and joint management in environment, cultural heritage and risk prevention
This priority, which aims to improve the quality of life for inhabitants in the border area, also reflects the Gothenburg objectives on sustainability. Therefore, it focuses on the coordinated planning and management of environmental infrastructures and services, on the promotion of joint actions to preserve and enhance the environment as well as natural and cultural resources, and on supporting the joint planning and management of human and material resources on both sides of the border regarding risk prevention and interventions in the event of disasters.
Priority 3: Cooperation and joint management in spatial planning and accessibility
Territorial integration can be achieved through joint spatial and urban-planning processes in the border area. This can be implemented along sustainable lines though the solid planning and coordination of public transport systems on both sides of the border, the establishment of joint cross-border logistics and intermodal transport infrastructures, and the development of joint projects for the shared use of energy resources, in particular renewable energies.
Priority 4: Cooperation and joint management for socio-economic and institutional integration
Socio-economic and institutional integration in the programme area can be achieved through the shared use of social, educational, cultural, sports and leisure services in the border regions. The establishment of cooperation mechanisms regarding health and social assistance services will improve the attention and level of coverage provided by such services to border populations. Institutional integration can be enhanced through the establishment of permanent cross-border cooperation networks between local authorities, companies, social organisations and public institutions.
Priority 5: Technical assistance for the process of cross-border cooperation
There is also provision for technical assistance in order to implement the programme. Financial support is available to cover administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.
Financial and Technical information
Operational Programme 'Spain - Portugal'
Intervention TypeOperational Programme
Number of decisionC(2011)5123
Final approval date25/07/2011
Breakdown of finances by priority axis
|Priority Axis||EU Investment||National Public Contribution||Total Public Contribution|
|Cooperation and joint management for the improvement of competitiveness and the promotion of employment||103 850 252||28 745 585||132 595 837|
|Cooperation and joint management in environment, cultural heritage and risk prevention||83 378 028||26 301 696||109 679 724|
|Cooperation and joint management in spatial planning and accessibility||39 810 500||12 336 318||52 146 818|
|Cooperation and joint management for socio-economic and institutional integration||27 196 325||8 447 903||35 644 228|
|Technical assistance for the process of cross-border cooperation||13 170 871||2 324 271||15 495 142|
|Total||267 405 976||78 155 773||345 561 749|
Managing authorityMinisterio de Hacienda y Administraciones Públicas - Madrid, España Paseo de la Castellana, 162 E- 28071 Madrid
Subdirector General de Cooperación Territorial Europea y Desarrollo Urbano ` Fernando , Fernandez Melle Tel. : 00 34 91 583 5140/41 E-mail. : FFMelle@sepg.minhap.es Web : Minister of Economy and Finance Web : DGFC: Subdirección General de Cooperación Territorial Europea y Desarrollo Urbano