Operational Programme 'Development of Eastern Poland'

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


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On 2 October 2007, the European Commission approved the Operational Programme entitled “Development of Eastern Poland” for the period 2007-13. The Operational Programme falls within the framework laid out for the Convergence Objective and has a total budget of around €2.7 billion. Community investment for five Polish regions (Warmińsko-Mazurskie, Podlaskie, Lubelskie, Podkarpackie and Świętokrzyskie) through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €2.3 billion. This represents approximately 3.4% of the total EU investment earmarked for Poland under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13.

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment

The purpose of the Operational Programme is to stimulate economic growth and overcome stagnation, which is marginalising Eastern Poland’s regions. The strategic objective of the Programme is to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development in Eastern Poland, at the same time respecting the sustainable development policy.

The semi-national, semi-regional Programme is to be implemented at national level, however it will also address the needs of specific regions. The concept of the Programme is based on "flagship projects" which are beneficial to all five regions. The Programme will help to strengthen the impact of other programmes implemented in Eastern Poland by conducting separate activities to stimulate economic and social development. Due to its concentrated structure of intervention, the Programme will be an important tool for delivering the revised Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs. The Lisbon objectives will receive more than 43% of the Programme’s total budget.

2. The expected impact of the investment

According to a macroeconomic modelling projection, the Programme is expected to deliver additional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.38% and up to 13610 new jobs annually. The Programme will also strengthen the economic potential of the region and generate long-term productivity gains in the five regions covered.

3. Priority axes

The Operational Programme is structured according to the following priorities:

Priority 1: Modern Economy [approximately 34.7% of total funding]

This priority will focus on creating the long-term bases for innovative change in the economy of Eastern Poland. Existing tertiary institutions will be supported in the area of engineering and technical studies so as to provide a better knowledge base for innovation. Attention will also be paid to improving links between business and science sectors by supporting research facilities, business and technological parks, and cluster management. A portfolio of financial instruments such as seed capital will be designed with help from the European Investment Fund in order to meet the specific development needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This priority will also create cooperation networks between regions, including a common promotional campaign targeting investors.

Priority 2: Information Society Infrastructure [approximately 11.3% of total funding]

This priority will aim at eliminating the "digital divide" of the regions by offering the possibility of broadband Internet access to all citizens and firms. In view of the peripheral location of these regions, a specialised training component will be provided to ensure that the opportunities offered by the Internet are used to their maximum.

Priority 3: Regional Growth Centres [approximately 19.9% of total funding]

The five capital cities of the five Eastern regions will be provided with better public transport, including better connections from adjacent rural areas, in an effort to increase their attractiveness for citizens and investors and to increase their economic spill-over effects. Investments in conferences/exhibition centres will be supported as part of encouraging local entrepreneurs and opening up market opportunities for them.

Priority 4: Transport Infrastructure [approximately 29.0% of total funding]

This priority will open up the regions to national and European transport systems by investing in national and regional roads. The investments will be concentrated on seven identified corridors which link the regions to the main network.

Priority 5: Sustainable Tourism based on Natural Assets [approximately 2.1% of total funding]

Eastern Poland's greatest assets are its protected natural areas and biodiversity. A system of cycling routes will be developed, offering unique attractions to tourists and enabling the region to build on its environmental potential and develop active tourism, one of the key economic drivers behind new jobs and growth. In addition, a promotional campaign and marketing plan will be developed to promote the region as an ideal place for living, working and leisure.

Priority 6: Technical Assistance [approximately 3.0% of total funding]

This priority will support project development and implementation as well as the Programme’s management, implementation, publicity and information.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Development of Eastern Poland'

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
Modern Economy 789 957 284 139 404 227 929 361 511
Information Society Infrastructure 255 119 659 45 021 117 300 140 776
Regional Growth Centres 452 621 636 79 874 407 532 496 043
Transport Infrastructure 660 381 359 116 537 887 776 919 246
Sustainable Tourism based on Natural Assets 47 500 000 8 382 353 55 882 353
Technical Assistance 68 213 812 12 037 732 80 251 544
Total 2 273 793 750 401 257 723 2 675 051 473