Operational Programme 'Improvement of Accessibility'

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


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On 10 October 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for Greece for the period 2007-13. The programme "Improvement of Accessibility" involves Community support for eight Greek regions: Epirus, Thessaly, Eastern Macedonia, Ionian Islands, Western Greece, Peloponnesus, Crete and North Aegean.

The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the Convergence objective and has a total budget of around €4.976 billion. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund amounts to some €3.7 billion, which represents approximately 18.45% of the total EU money invested in Greece under Cohesion policy 2007-13.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

Continued investment in transport infrastructures is necessary in Greece in order to complete trans-European road and rail networks, develop missing links and regional axes, promote public transport and ensure balanced development of the different transport modes. The Operational Programme aims to improve transport infrastructure in Greece as well as its international connections. It will therefore have a decisive role in enhancing the attractiveness and accessibility of Greece's remote and landlocked regions and also in improving its position in terms of international transport.

The "Improvement of Accessibility" Operational Programme cuts across less developed and more prosperous regions in Greece and should therefore promote territorial cohesion by ensuring consistency and complementarity of structural interventions with other Operational Programmes.

The Operational Programme pays close attention to environmental concerns that should be addressed through appropriately designed new projects, increased efficiency of transport networks as well as measures promoting cleaner transport, particularly in major urban zones. In addition, the Programme gives priority to promoting safety among the different transport modes and networks.

2. Expected impact of the investments

The "Improvement of Accessibility" Operational Programme will provide strong support to the Lisbon agenda for jobs and growth by contributing to bridge the transport infrastructure gap between Greece and more developed regions in Europe. As much as 86.58% of the investments available under the programme are earmarked for Lisbon priorities. Furthermore, the programme aims to attract €1.8 billion of private investments through a series of motorway concession agreements designed to complete the basic motorway network on the country's mainland by 2015.

3. Priorities

The Operational Programme sets out two strategic objectives:

  • Improvement of accessibility of the country's regions at European, national and regional level through the development of transport infrastructures (road, rail, maritime, air and public transport);
  • Improvement of the quality of transport services with emphasis on reducing the time and cost of movements, transport safety and the level of service.

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

Priority 1: Road transport infrastructures [approximately 58.8% of total amount of funding]

Specific objectives of this priority include:

  • development of Trans-European Networks (TENs);
  • development of the secondary regional network, including the development of road links with the main gates of entry to the country.

Priority 2: Rail and combined transport infrastructures [approximately 19.5 % of total amount of funding]

Specific objectives of this priority include:

  • development and modernisation of the rail network;
  • construction and completion of the trans-European PATHE/P (Patras-Athens-Thessalonica) corridor offering high speed transport of 160 km/h with double electrified lines and signalling and the development of multimodal transport along this axis.

Priority 3: Public urban transport [approximately 11.1 % of total amount of funding]

The objective of this priority is to develop the public urban transport system in the Athens/Piraeus area with a view to developing mobility, improving the attractiveness of public transport, offering quality of services and promoting a cleaner environment.

Priority 4: Air and maritime transport infrastructures [approximately 7.4 % of total amount of funding]

Greece has an extensive network of ports (155) and airports (41). The specific objectives of this priority include:

  • improvements in the maritime transport system through the development of appropriate passenger and freight port infrastructures;
  • development of regional airports.

Priority 5: Road safety and safety of transport networks [ approximately 1.2% of total amount of funding]

The objective of this priority is to improve the quality of transport networks and services. This part of the Operational Programme assigns particular importance to issues of safety and traffic management.

Priority 6: Technical assistance [approximately 1.1 % of total amount of funding]

In order to implement the programme, financial support is being made available to cover administration, monitoring and controls.

not designated yet

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Improvement of Accessibility'

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
Road transport infrastructures 2 176 600 000 725 580 000 2 902 180 000
Rail and combined transport infrastructures 723 000 000 127 560 000 850 560 000
Public urban transport 411 550 000 241 550 000 653 100 000
Air and maritime transport infrastructures 274 000 000 66 330 000 340 330 000
Road safety and safety of transport networks 43 200 000 43 200 000 86 400 000
Traffic and environmental management of transport networks 31 035 000 31 035 000 62 070 000
Technical Assistance 40 775 864 40 775 864 81 551 728
Total 3 700 160 864 1 276 030 864 4 976 191 728