Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship'

Programme under the Convergence objective co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 26 October 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for Greece for the period 2007-13. The programme "Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship" involves Community support for Greek regions that are eligible under the Convergence objective (Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Thessaly, Ipeirus, Western Greece, Peloponnese, Ionian Islands, Crete and North Aegean; the “Phasing-out” regions are not included).

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the Convergence objective and has a total budget of around €1.519 billion. Community assistance through the ERDF amounts to some €1.291 billion, which represents approximately 6.32% of the total EU money invested in Greece under Cohesion policy 2007-13.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The competitiveness of the Greek economy has shown marked signs of improvement in recent years, reversing long-term trends. Despite an improvement in the trade balance, the Greek economy is still marked by low levels of cross-border mobility as well as low levels of research, technological development and innovation. Added to that, many small and micro enterprises encounter difficulties when they attempt to expand.

The overarching goal of this programme is to improve competitiveness and entrepreneurship and to increase the cross-border mobility of the Greek production system (with an emphasis on innovation). The programme will see interventions in the fields of industry, services, trade, consumer protection, research and technology, energy, tourism and culture, and aims to produce positive results in terms of development for the entire Greek economy.

2. Expected impact of the investments

The programme will contribute to research and development (R&D), a sector which will make up 1.5% of GDP by the end of the programming period, through both its direct contribution of public funds and the mobilisation of private money. It will also play a central role in Greece meeting its commitments under the Kyoto agreement.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme "Improvement of Accessibility" is structured along the following priorities:

Priority 1: Creation and development of innovation, supported by research and technological development [15.1 % of total amount of funding]

This priority aims to accelerate the transition to a knowledge economy by developing innovation and strengthening the roles of research and technology in the country’s production sectors. It focuses on the concept of innovation being the main factor behind development and competitiveness in the Greek economy and society. The priority aims to contribute to increasing the percentage of national income spent on research and technological development.

Priority 2: Support for entrepreneurship and cross-border mobility [35.1 % of total amount of funding]

This priority seeks to increase outward-looking entrepreneurship as a means of upgrading production in Greece towards high value-added goods and services offering quality, environmental awareness, knowledge and innovation. It also aims to increase foreign direct investment in the Greek economy and to encourage support for the competitive presence of Greek companies on national and foreign markets. Actions will focus on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), but will also include tourism, where emphasis will be put on increasing alternative and special forms of tourism.

Priority 3: Improvement of the entrepreneurial environment [21.5 % of total amount of funding]

The existence of an appropriate and healthy environment in support of entrepreneurship is a vital factor for flourishing entrepreneurship and reduced entrepreneurial risk. The aim of this priority axis is to work towards achieving this. Actions will notably seek to modernise financial tools and improve the financial services available to businesses, in addition to ensuring appropriate conditions for free markets to operate in by supporting features such as one stop shops, infrastructures and development tools. Actions in the field of consumer protection will also be funded. Overall, this priority seeks to strengthen market competitiveness and increase investment possibilities.

Priority 4: Completion of the country’s energy system and support for sustainability [26.0% of total amount of funding]

The aim of this priority is to secure the Greek energy supply alongside meeting environmental targets, to support energy market liberalisation and to integrate electricity and natural gas transportation into large international networks. Actions under this priority will contribute to meeting Greece's Kyoto objectives. They will aim to wean Greece off relying on oil by supporting energy networks of natural gas and alternative energy sources. Actions in the field of energy efficiency will also be a key feature of these efforts. The priority will take account of Greece's geostrategic position with a view to ensuring security of supply.

Priority 5: Technical assistance [2.3 % of total amount of funding]

not designated yet

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision

C/2007/5338 final

Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Creation and development of innovation, supported by research and technological development 192 083 000 33 897 000 225 980 000
Support for entrepreneurship and cross-border mobility 446 020 000 82 238 824 548 258 824
Improvement of the entrepreneurial environment 272 907 000 48 160 059 321 067 059
Completion of the country’s energy system and support for sustainability 330 990 000 58 410 000 389 400 000
Technical assistance 29 000 000 5 294 117 34 294 117
Total 1 271 000 000 228 000 000 1 519 000 000