Operational Programme 'Environment and Energy'

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


Additional tools


On 1 August 2007, the European Commission approved a Regional Operational Programme for Hungary for the 2007-13 period. The Operational Programme falls within the Convergence Objective framework (only the "convergence" regions are eligible) and has a total budget of around €4.9 billion. Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €4.2 billion, which represents approximately 16.5% of the total EU investment for Hungary under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The aim of the Environment and Energy Operational Programme includes the following goals:

  • Quality of life improvement through pollution reduction: Preservation, improvement and restoration of healthy environmental conditions by reducing or eliminating dangerous pollutants, toward enhancing the quality of life of the population;
  • Protection and preservation of natural assets: The protection of ecosystems; sustainable use of natural resources and land; environmental damage prevention; improvement of natural asset protection management, preservation of bio-diversity, and environmentally safe living conditions;
  • Prevention, economy, and efficiency: Harmonizing social and environmental sustainable development; prevention of pollution and waste creation; application of technologies that use low energy and low materials; increasing the share of renewable energy sources; strengthening environmental awareness.

2. Expected impact of investments

The programme anticipates the following impact:

  • a higher percentage of the population will have access to modern wastewater treatment, proper drinking water supply and selective waste collection - improved municipal solid waste management;
  • a higher share of the population will be properly protected from floods, and the number of clean and ecologically sound surface waters will increase through the preservation of habitats and species in the Habitat protection directive;
  • the share of renewable energy sources in power generation and bio-fuels production will increase;
  • the energy intensity of the economy (as measured by energy consumption per unit of GDP) will decrease;
  • the domestic consumption habits will be improved and the number of environmentalists in the population will grow (as measured by Eurobarometer).

3. Priority axes

Specific objectives of the Environment and Energy Operational Programme include:

  • improved environmental conditions of sustainable settlement development;
  • more satisfactory quality of life;
  • healthier environmental conditions;
  • better circumstances for human life.

The Environment and Energy Operational Programme is structured along the following priority axes:

Priority axis 1: Healthy and clean settlements [approximately 53,1% of total funding]

This priority axis aims to improve environmental conditions of sustainable settlement development and to ensure a satisfactory quality of life, a healthy environment and better life circumstances. To achieve these objectives, intervention in the following areas is foreseen:

  • Waste management: The creation of solid waste management systems of similar standards all over the country, though adapted to local conditions;
  • Wastewater treatment: The implementation of the National Settlement Wastewater Collection and Treatment Programme; construction, modernisation and extension of wastewater collection and treatment systems and sludge treatment facilities; the application of environmentally-friendly small-scale technologies;
  • Drinking water supply: The implementation of the National Drinking Water Development Programme, which aims to ensure the supply of good quality, healthy drinking water to the population and to eliminate any regional drinking water quality disparity.

Priority axis 2: Good water management [approximately 28.7% of total funding]

The activities financed under this priority axis will focus on two main intervention areas:

  • Implementation of good flood protection practices (complex water management) aiming to increase safety from floods and to retain water for periods of deficiency. These actions can be considered as climate change preparations, when, according to the forecast, precipitation will be heavier, but scarce;
  • Protection of the quantity and quality of water reserves. The status of Hungarian surface water was surveyed based on the Water Framework Directive[1], which expects their good ecological status to be achieved by 2015. The measures aim to achieve this goal. Special attention is paid to the big lakes, whose good status is considered an important social requirement.

Priority axis 3: Wise management of natural assets [approximately 2,8% of total funding]

The conservation of biodiversity will be targeted through the rehabilitation, restoration and sustainable management of NATURA 2000 and other protected natural areas. Measures are planned to reduce the isolation of semi-natural habitats to improve the ecological integrity of the country. The planned interventions are:

  • restoration, improvement and preservation of protected natural assets and areas of community and cultural importance;
  • creation of the infrastructural basis for habitat-conserving agriculture and forestry;
  • damage reduction to nature and landscape caused by linear facilities;
  • nature school network infrastructural development.

Priority axis 4: Increasing the use of renewable energy sources [approximately 5.2% of total funding]

The objective is to influence the structure of energy resources and to promote the shift from traditional to renewable energy sources. Promotion of the following renewable energy sources is foreseen: biomass, waste cooking oil and animal fat, biogas, geothermal, solar (photovoltaic, solar collectors and passive utilisation in buildings), hydro (only efficiency improvement of existing facilities), wind (only local or communal solutions not feeding into the national grid, as long as the grid is not upgraded).

Priority axis 5: Efficient energy use [approximately 3.1% of total funding]

The main goal of this priority axis is to contribute to the annual 1% decrease in energy consumption in line with the Action Plan to improve Energy Efficiency in the European Community. The following interventions are foreseen to improve energy efficiency:

  • improving the energy efficiency of public buildings
  • modernizing district heat supply and reducing network heat losses
  • improving energy efficiency in the competitive sector.

The main indicator to measure the energy intensity of the economy will be energy consumption per unit of GDP.

Priority axis 6: Promotion of sustainable production and consumption habits [approximately 1.6% of total funding]

This priority axis serves the revised Lisbon Agenda in the field of preventive environmental protection. In the area of sustainable production, planned interventions include the preparation of company audits, the definition of Best Available Technologies (BAT), and environmentally friendly product development among just a few. Other planned projects include a sustainable consumption habits campaign, support to sustainability labels, as well as investments and pilot projects promoting sustainable consumption patterns and alternative solutions. A separate intervention focuses on e-environmental protection, which aims for the quantitative and qualitative development of special electronic contents (urban and regional environmental GIS databases, open information systems, etc.).

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Environment and Energy'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Healthy and clean settlements 2 217 569 580 391 335 808 2 608 905 388
Good water management 1 199 328 900 211 646 276 1 410 975 176
Wise management of natural assets 114 989 621 20 292 286 135 281 907
Increasing the use of renewable energy sources 215 113 165 37 961 147 253 074 312
Efficient energy use 131 215 775 23 155 725 154 371 500
Promotion of sustainable production and consumption habits 65 928 350 11 634 415 77 562 765
Project preparation 167 571 738 29 571 483 197 143 221
Technical assistance 67 129 212 11 846 332 79 975 544
Total 4 178 846 341 737 443 472 4 917 289 813