Operational Programm 'Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life'

Programme under Convergence objective, co-funded by ERDF and CF


Additional tools


On June 26th, the European Commission approved the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Cohesion Fund (CF) Operational programme for Malta for the period 2007-2013, entitled "Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life". This programme involves Community support for the Republic of Malta. The total budget of the programme is around EUR 857 million and the Community assistance through the ERDF amounts to EUR 444 million, and to 284 million for CF, for an overall amount of 728 Million EUR (approximately 87% of the total EU money invested in Malta under the Cohesion policy for 2007-2013).

Malta is the first Member State to complete negotiations with the Commission for the new Programming Period. The other Operational programme, the one for the European Social Fund, entitled "Empowering People for more jobs and a better quality of life", was in fact adopted on June 22nd .

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment

The programme will play a key role in achieving the objectives of the Maltese National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) and its convergence. It will do this by both boosting the competitiveness of its productive activities and enhancing the attractiveness of the archipelago in terms of environmental quality, transport facilities and services as well as clean and efficient energy patterns.

It will lead to Malta coming fully into line with Community environmental legislation within the programming period. It will also boost local infrastructures and increase research and information technology capacities as for example in the Foreign Direct Investment project “SmartCity@Malta”.

2. The expected impact of the investment

Some key impact indicators have been clearly defined such as:

  • A percentage increase in RTDI (Research, Technological Development and Innovation) expenditure as a percentage of GDP. The target is an increase from 0.3 per cent in 2004 to 0.75 in 2013;
  • An increase in tourism earnings and an increase in manufacturing exports. For tourism, the target is a 1.0 per cent increase per year in tourism earnings over the 2007-2013 period. The target for the manufacturing industry is for an increase in exports from 2.7 per cent in 2007 to 3.2 per cent in 2013 (annual growth);
  • The number of direct jobs created will be in the region of 1,400 full-time equivalents by the end of the programming period;

3. Priority axes

The principal objectives of the "Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life” programme are to sustain a growing, knowledge-based and competitive economy and to improve Malta’s attractiveness and the quality of life:

Priority 1: Enhancing Knowledge and Innovation (ERDF)

The objective is to reinforce the RTD & Innovation capacity of the Maltese enterprises, networking the productive sector to the research centres, facilitating access to credit and microcredit for SMEs, implementing the new ICT department at Malta University and enterprises–related infrastructures.

Priority 2: Promoting Sustainable Tourism (ERDF)

Tourism sector represents to 25% of Maltese GDP. This priority will include actions for enhancing, preserving and promoting the cultural and natural heritage, branding of the specific tourism product, aid to innovate for tourism enterprises as well as actions to involve local NGOs in the management of the cultural and natural heritage.

Priority 3: Developing the infrastructure (CF)

Maltese ports and its motorway will be improved, including actions for a better traffic management. These projects are part of the Trans-European Networks.

Priority 4: Upgrading services of General Economic Interest (ERDF)

The aim is to help Malta to come into line with the European legislation in the air sector (large combustion plant directive). The construction of the main wastewater treatment plant will improve significantly Malta south sea water quality. On the Energy side, it will include environmental aspects in energy production as well as the development of renewable energy sources.

Priority 5: Safeguarding the Environment (CF)

Separate household collection and Advanced Mechanical, biological and thermal treatment plant for waste, as well as landfill rehabilitation are provided for in the priority. Besides, an advanced approach for water reuse and adaptation to climate change (extreme events) is included.

Priority 6: Urban Regeneration and Improving the Quality of Life (ERDF)

The priority is to promote new efficient and sustainable services, some health services through e-government, some urban regeneration actions in the harbour areas.

Priority 7: Technical Assistance (ERDF)

A financial support is available covering administration, monitoring and control to implement the programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programm 'Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

CCI no


Number of decision


Final approval date