Operational Programme 'South Great Plain'

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


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On 27 July 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the South Great Plain region in Hungary for the period 2007-13. The Programme involves Community support for the region within the framework laid out for the Convergence Objective. The total budget of the Programme is about €881 million and includes Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of some €749 million (approximately 3.0% of the total EU money invested in Hungary under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13).

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The region has a GDP per capita of 40.4% of the EU average and an employment rate of 53.8% of the EU-25 average (2004). The Programme builds on the region’s existing research and innovation facilities and on the potential offered by the health and wellness tourism sectors. The Programme also provides support for the development of basic environmental and transport infrastructure in an effort to increase regional cohesion.

The overall goals of the Programme are to ensure sustainable growth, boost employment and reduce intra-regional disparities. Two specific objectives have been established: (i) increasing the competitiveness of the regional economy by promoting economic restructuring based on innovation; and (ii) improving municipal and environmental conditions in order to increase regional cohesion. In line with the National Strategic Reference Framework, the Programme makes a significant contribution to meeting the objectives of the Growth and Jobs agenda.

2. Expected impact of investments

The following are some of the expected impacts stemming from the Programme’s investments:

  • 26% increase in the average GDP per capita in the region;
  • employment rate of the working age population to increase from 53.8% (2005) to 55%;
  • 7% annual growth in sales revenues of businesses taking part in clusters or supported cooperation arrangements;
  • number of people receiving high-quality specialised out-patient care to increase from 3.8 million (2004) to 4.4 million per year;
  • 200 businesses per year with plants established in the region covered;
  • 5 000 disadvantaged students per year learning in schools that have been developed.

3. Priorities

The Programme is structured according to the following priorities:

Priority 1: Regional Economic Development [approximately 17.4% of total funding]

This priority is aimed at promoting high value-added economic activities in the region, boosting the competitiveness of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector and increasing the level of employment. The main activities include developing technology centres and bridging institutions, supporting clusters and economic networks, reinforcing SME support services, developing industrial parks and incubation centres and rehabilitating brown-field areas.

Priority 2: Tourism Development [approximately 18.3% of total funding]

The objectives of this priority are to increase tourism income, the average duration of tourist visits and the number of people employed in the tourism sector. The priority also provides support for developing health tourism facilities based on thermal water resources, as well as cultural heritage sites and tourist attractions. The final focus under this priority is to improve the quality of tourism services and develop a regional tourism destination management organisation.

Priority 3: Development of Transport Infrastructure [approximately 21.1% of total funding]

This priority aims at improving the accessibility of lesser developed micro-regional centres and reducing intra-regional disparities. The activities include developments for regional roads, bicycle routes and public transport infrastructure.

Priority 4: Development of Human Infrastructure [approximately 18.8% of total funding]

The objectives under this priority are to improve the mental and physical health of the population, establish a high-quality human infrastructure, and increase the level of employment. Support will target the development of kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, and basic social services. In the health sector, there are plans to develop out-patient care centres as well as diagnostics, screening and rehabilitation centres. Support will also target efforts to improve accessibility in public buildings.

Priority 5: Settlement Development Actions [approximately 20.8% of total funding]

This priority aims to strengthen social cohesion, establish an attractive urban environment and improve environmental safety. The main activities include support for integrated urban development actions, social-type rehabilitation and housing. In terms of the environment, efforts will focus on developing wastewater management infrastructure, re-cultivating landfills and running environmental awareness-raising campaigns.

Priority 6: Technical Assistance [approximately 3.6% of total funding]

Technical assistance will be provided for implementing the Programme. Financial support is also available and will cover administration, monitoring and control.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'South Great Plain'

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
Regional Economic Development 129 916 508 22 926 443 152 842 951
Tourism Development 137 134 092 24 200 134 161 334 226
Development of Transport Infrastructure 158 145 290 27 907 993 186 053 283
Development of Human Infrastructure 140 742 884 24 836 979 165 579 863
Settlement Development Actions 155 819 605 27 497 577 183 317 182
Technical Assistance 26 956 229 4 756 982 31 713 211
Total 748 714 608 132 126 108 880 840 716