Operational Programme 'Schleswig-Holstein'

Programme involving the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in connection with the Objective 'Employment and Competitiveness'


Additional tools


On 5 July 2007 the European Commission adopted a regional development programme for Schleswig-Holstein covering the period 2007–2013, namely the “ERDF Operational Programme for Schleswig-Holstein 2007–2013”.

On 12.4.2012 an OP-modification was adopted with Commission decision C(2012) 2341.

This programme includes Community support for Schleswig-Holstein linked to the Employment and Competitiveness objective. The total budget for the programme amounts to EUR 1 091 963 748 with the Community contribution from the ERDF accounting for EUR 373 888 769 (or approximately 1.41% of overall EU funding disbursed in Germany under the 2007–2013 Cohesion Policy.

1. Purpose and objective of EU investment

Raising regional competitiveness and employment levels is the overriding objective and central pillar of all ERDF measures in Schleswig-Holstein. This objective is pursued by setting six strategic objectives which take account of the horizontal objectives of environment and equal opportunities. These six strategic objectives resulted form the SWOT study and have been given form in the shape of specific objectives. This system of targets was converted into a structural programme with four priority axes in terms of content. The 5th priority covers technical assistance and program or project-related studies and reports.

Strategic objective 1 — Improving the acquisition of knowledge and knowledge transfer, primarily from universities and non-university research establishments in tandem with greater knowledge utilisation to raise the innovative strength and speed of innovation in Schleswig-Holstein's economy.

Strategic objective 2 — Making Schleswig-Holstein's economy more dynamic (modernisation and expansion of companies' capital resources, targeting exports, establishment of new firms and the strengthening of human capital).

Strategic objective 3 — Consolidation of existing and developing structure clusters and networks as the motors of dynamic economic development and with the aim of boosting firms’ competitiveness.

Strategic objective 4 — Upgrading of facilities at regional locations.

Strategic objective 5 — Enhancing the role of the municipalities in support of social and economic change.

Strategic objective 6 — Developing the potential for boosting tourism and cultural activities.

2. The expected impact of the investment

The ERDF Operational Programme is intended to increase public and private R&D expenditure in terms of Schleswig-Holstein's GDP and bring it up to 3% by the end of the programming period. Support for the R&D activities under the programme is provided, in particular, by the projects targeting the promotion of skills centres, joint projects (scientific-economic) innovation support, technology and founder centres, scientific-economic networks, in-house innovation and regional cluster management. The aim is also to increase to 34% the percentage of employees in the knowledge-intensive sectors.

With a view to managing the structural change and increasing the competitiveness of the economy and consequently to securing and raising employment levels, it is of decisive importance that the economic and production structures are modernised and extended. Schleswig-Holstein’s economy is to be rendered more dynamic by modernising and extending the capital resources of entrepreneurial stock, by establishing new firms and by targeting exports. Gross capital investment in Schleswig-Holstein is to be raised to the average for Germany by the end of the programming period. Existing and developing cluster and network structures in Schleswig-Holstein are to be used to increase productivity further in the relevant sectors of Schleswig-Holstein’s economy.

The municipalities are to be given a greater role in support of social and economic change and as the centres for greater regional development This will include the large and medium-sized metropolitan areas in Schleswig-Holstein in their function as growth centres to generate above-average employment levels and become more relevant to Schleswig-Holstein’s population growth overall.

Tourism will target primarily the rural regions that are weak in terms of their infrastructure.

3. Priority axes

This system of priorities takes the form of a structural programme comprising four priority axes in terms of content. The 5th Priority covers technical assistance and program or project-related studies and reports.

Priority axis 1: Boosting knowledge and innovation

The aim of this first priority axis is to boost knowledge and innovation. The aim must be to promote technological change with short innovative cycles. The development and realisation of new ideas, knowledge and technologies to make marketable products and efficient processes is the central theme for scientific and economic development. The dovetailing of scientific and economic activity is a central element of this priority axis. Enhancing companies' ability to be innovative, promoting in-house innovation and developing human resources round off this axis in terms of its content. The aim is to establish the essential basis for more employment and regional competitiveness in Schleswig-Holstein.

Priority axis 2: Increasing firms' competitiveness and strengthening the entrepreneurial base

The aim of this second priority axis is to enhance the competitiveness of firms and strengthen the entrepreneurial base. In view of the increasing international distribution of labour and growing pressure in terms of competition and adaptation, this aspect is of enormous importance for undertakings in Schleswig-Holstein and for various other areas. The provision of capital for modernising and extending the entrepreneurial stock and promoting the founding of new firms are central elements for enhancing companies' competitiveness and strengthening the entrepreneurial base in Schleswig-Holstein.

Priority axis 3: Developing infrastructure conducive to business and measures for sustainable development

The aim of the third priority axis is to improve and develop infrastructure at locations in Schleswig-Holstein. This includes, in particular, the development of infrastructure geared to the needs of business and the realisation of measures targeting sustainable development where there is an industrial need. This setting of priorities has been determined by the quantitative and qualitative differences that exist in the business-supporting infrastructure that exists or has been developed. As a parallel measure to this priority axis, existing industrial infrastructures are to be secured and modernised and the conditions governing location and establishment criteria for firms are to be improved.

Priority axis 4: Developing specific regional potential

The aim of the fourth priority axis is the development of specific regional potential in Schleswig-Holstein. This setting of priorities has been determined by the regionally highly disparate strengths and weaknesses and the resultant specific opportunities and risks. This applies in particular to tourism and is concentrated in three of the structurally weak rural districts and strengthening tourism there will help to meet the new challenges facing tourism and cultural activities. The priority axis is also aimed at improving the quality of life and the sustainability of the municipalities in Schleswig-Holstein and help to secure the natural and cultural inheritance of Schleswig-Holstein for future generations and to exploit its inherent value in a sustainable way.

Priority axis 5: Technical assistance and specific programme for project-related studies/expert opinions

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Schleswig-Holstein'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision

K/2007/3359 + K/2012/2341

Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Boosting knowledge and innovation 150 535 036 89 406 940 239 941 976
Increasing firm' competitiveness and strengthening the entrepreneurial base 108 543 996 27 709 367 136 253 363
Developing infrastructure conducive to business and measures for sustainable development 50 020 968 69 725 066 119 746 034
Developing specific regional potential 52 900 000 61 692 090 114 592 090
Technical assistance 11 888 769 13 665 453 25 554 222
Total 373 888 769 262 198 916 636 087 685