Operational Programme 'Infrastructure and Environment'

Within the framework of the 'Convergence' objective, co-funded by the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 7 December 2007 the European Commission approved an operational programme in Poland for the period 2007-2013, entitled the "Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme". This programme involves Community support for Poland within the framework of the "Convergence" objective. The total budget of the programme is € 37.56 billion. The Community assistance amounts to € 22.18 billion from the Cohesion Fund and € 5.74 billion from the ERDF. It is the biggest Operational Programme in Poland (the EU contribution is approximately 41% of the total EU support for Poland under Cohesion policy 2007-2013). This is also the biggest-ever operational programme in the whole of the European Union.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

Development difficulties in Poland are to a great extent caused by the degradation or by the lack of infrastructure. In order to increase the country's competitiveness and to attract investors, these obstacles have to be overcome. The Infrastructure and Environment Operational Programme will serve this objective by supporting the development of technical infrastructure, and simultaneously protecting and improving the condition of the natural environment and health as well as preserving cultural identity and developing territorial cohesion. This programme is complementary to other regional programmes.

The Infrastructure and Environment Programme is also an important instrument for implementation of the renewed Lisbon Strategy (Lisbon-related expenditure constitutes over 66% of the EU contribution).

2. Expected impact of the investments

In the area of transport, it is expected that 636 km of motorways and over 2219 km of expressways will be constructed, 1566 km of railway lines will be modernized and 8 main airports will be expanded. As regards environmental investments, 318 waste-water treatment plants should be built or modernized, 9 000 km of sewerage network will be constructed or reconstructed and 44 waste management plants will be modernised or constructed. The investments in the energy sector should result in 690 MW of additional capacity in energy plants using renewable energy sources. The oil and gas pipeline networks will be significantly expanded: 1000 km of gas transfer pipelines, 4900 km gas distribution pipelines and 450 km of oil pipelines will be built. Additionally, 600 km of electro-power transfer lines will be added to the network. As regards social infrastructure, the programme should result in e.g. the construction or renovation of 120 educational institutions, 31 cultural institutions, modernisation of 160 health care centres and the purchase of 600 ambulances.

3. Priorities


Priority 1: Water and sewage management – Cohesion Fund

Development of water and sewage infrastructure to agglomerations above 15 thousand population equivalent. Support will also be provided to agglomerations between 2,000-15,000 population equivalent. In accordance with the objectives of the National Programme of Municipal Sewage Treatment, Poland should construct, expand or modernise sewage treatment plants in 318 agglomerations above 15,000 population equivalent. The expansion or modernisation of the sanitary sewage system network in 459 agglomerations, with a total length of 20 000 km, is also necessary.

Priority 2: Waste management and the protection of the earth – Cohesion Fund

Increasing economic benefits by reducing the amount of municipal waste disposal, the rehabilitation of degraded areas and the protection of sea coasts. As concerns waste management, investments related to the prevention and reduction of municipal waste production, the introduction of recycling technologies and technologies for the final neutralisation of municipal waste as well as the elimination of hazards resulting from waste disposal and the rehabilitation of degraded areas for environmental purposes.

Priority 3: Resource management and counteracting environmental risks – Cohesion Fund

Provide an appropriate amount of water resources for the population and the country’s economy as well as to minimise the negative effects of natural disasters and serious accidents. Analysis of the environment sector shows an insufficient level of water retention as compared to the potential and a high risk concerning the poor condition of technical premises related to water retention and flood protection. The programme will renovate and modernise water management systems (for instance, construction of new small retention facilities and increasing natural retention in river valleys and marshy areas).

Priority 4: Initiatives aimed at adjusting enterprises to the requirements of environmental protection – ERDF

Reduce the negative effects of existing industrial activities on the environment and adjust enterprises to the requirements of Community law. Investment and non – investment (which do not require infrastructural investment) undertakings. For non- investment projects, support will be granted to projects which implement environmental management systems (e.g. carrying out necessary audits to obtain certificates) and for obtaining eco-labels for products. Support will be given to projects of middle and large enterprises which reduce the amount of pollution emitted into the atmosphere or discharged with sewage and the amount of waste production, as well as increasing the amount of recyclable waste.

Priority 5: Environment protection and the promotion of ecological habits – ERDF

Reduce the degradation of the natural environment and the loss of resources for biodiversity. Active environmental protection on protected areas in Poland. Initiatives aimed at preserving endangered species and the genetic variety of flora, fauna and fungi, as well as restoring ecological corridors to a passable condition to enable the proper functioning of the Natura 2000 network. Initiatives concerning the promotion of social habits supporting environmental protection and the conservation of nature, including the preservation of biological variety, landscape conservation and the development of pro-ecological habits through widely understood ecological education.

Priority 6: TEN-T road and air transport network – Cohesion Fund

Increase Poland’s transport accessibility and improve interregional connections by developing the road and air TEN-T network; improving transport connections between the main cities of eastern Poland and other parts of the country by developing the road network in the eastern regions. Construction of sections of motorways and expressways connecting the biggest agglomerations, the construction of bypasses and the reconstruction of sections of other national roads included in the TEN-T network.

Priority 7: Environment-friendly transport – Cohesion Fund

Increase the ratio of alternatives to road transport in the overall passenger and cargo transport picture (railway transport, sea transport, public transport in metropolitan areas, multimodal transport, inland waterways) This will result in a better balance of the transport system, decrease the negative effects of transport on the environment and limit traffic congestion.

Priority 8: Transport safety and national transport networks – ERDF

Improving the safety level of roads will include, on the one hand, modernising the infrastructure of national roads (increasing capacity) or providing equipment to improve road safety and, on the other hand, changing the attitude and behaviour of all persons involved in road traffic. Intelligent Transport Systems will be developed . . Construction and modernisation of sea and river canals along with an extension of the existing infrastructure of inland waterways. .

Priority 9: Environment-friendly energy infrastructure and energy efficiency – Cohesion Fund

Improve security of supply and limit the negative effects of climate change. Support from the Cohesion Fund will be granted for initiatives aimed at increasing the share of primary energy use in the energy sector (i.e. increasing the efficiency of production and decreasing losses in the process of transmission and distribution of energy). Investments will target decreasing the energy intensity of the public sector, as well as increasing the amount of energy produced from renewable sources, including biomass, wind, solar and geothermal energy.

Priority 10: Energy security, including the diversification of energy sources – ERDF

Ensuring security of supply in the energy sector is a crucial target at EU and national level. This is why it will be possible in the 2007-2013 programming period to support, in the case of market failure, investments targeting better security of supply in the area of traditional energy sources. Investments increasing security of supply both in traditional and renewable energy sources. Therefore gas and oil transmission pipelines as well as gas reservoirs will be supported. Support will also be given to strategic cross border electricity connections. It will also be possible to develop the renewable energies industry.

Priority 11 Culture and cultural heritage – ERDF

Use Poland's potential in culture and cultural heritage, renowned throughout Europe and the world, to increase the country's attractiveness. Achieving the detailed objectives of the priority means completing supra-regional projects as a part of protecting the cultural heritage. It will also mean building, expanding and redeveloping cultural infrastructure with supra-regional importance as well as art education. Projects devoted to the protection and restoration of monuments of supra-regional importance, including those on the UNESCO World Heritage List or recognised as Historic Monuments by the President of Poland. Renovation, restoration, regeneration and protection of objects included in the register of monuments, as well as complexes with their surroundings.

Priority 12 Health, safety and improvement of health protection system – ERDF

Initiatives aimed at keeping the workforce in good health. Improving the health of society is intended to make sure that its basic capabilities are activated and better used, which leads to an increase in the number of economically active persons in the labour market. A significant part of increasing the health security of the Polish workforce is the developing of healthcare infrastructure, medical equipment supply standards and improving the efficiency of emergency actions in health-threatening situations. Achieving an integrated system of Emergency Medical Services with a common communications network, rescue procedures and medical equipment.

Priority 13 Higher education infrastructure – ERDF

Develop modern academic centres that mainly educate specialists in new technologies. Projects to be supported shall contribute to the development of international cooperation between higher education institutions, including organising international studies as well as establishing contact networks and links between professionals in strategic fields. Comprehensive infrastructural investments (construction, reconstruction, modernisation, equipment) essential to conduct higher education, mainly in the sciences as well as research and development activity connected with teaching. The development of Information and Communication technologies (ICT) which will be used in the teaching process will also be supported.

Priority 14 Technical assistance – ERDF and Priority 15 Technical assistance – Cohesion Fund

Efficient and effective use of resources from the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment. This will be achieved by providing support for programme management, information and promotion, and programme monitoring and evaluation.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Infrastructure and Environment'

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
Water and sewage management 2 783 942 550 491 283 979 3 275 226 529
Waste management and the protection of the earth 1 215 740 049 214 542 362 1 430 282 411
Resource management and counteracting environmental risks 556 788 510 98 256 796 655 045 306
Initiatives aimed at adjusting enterprises to the requirements of environmental protection 200 000 000 467 000 000 667 000 000
Environment protection and the promotion of ecological habits 89 800 000 15 847 059 105 647 059
TEN-T road and air transport network 8 802 366 611 1 745 929 233 10 548 295 844
Environment-friendly transport 7 676 019 211 4 385 979 953 12 061 999 164
Transport safety and national transport networks 2 945 490 000 519 792 353 3 465 282 353
Environment-friendly energy infrastructure and energy efficiency 748 037 701 655 009 248 1 403 046 949
Energy security, including the diversification of energy sources 974 280 000 718 931 765 1 693 211 765
Culture and cultural heritage 489 970 000 86 465 294 576 435 294
Health, safety and improvement of health protection system 349 990 000 61 762 941 411 752 941
Higher education infrastructure 500 000 000 88 235 294 588 235 294
Technical assistance – ERDF 187 800 000 33 141 176 220 941 176
Technical assistance – Cohesion Fund 393 459 142 69 433 966 462 893 108
Total 27 913 683 774 9 651 611 419 37 565 295 193