Operational Programme : 'Centro'

Programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the Convergence objective


Additional tools


On 9 October 2007 the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the Centro region in Portugal for 2007-2013.

This Operational Programme comes under the Convergence objective and has a total budget of about 2.9 billion euros. The financing provided by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some 1.7 billion euros, representing about 7.9% of Community aid to Portugal as part of the cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The main aim of the Operational Programme is to establish conditions for growth by means of:

  • establishing and promoting the region;
  • boosting the skill levels of human resources;
  • business innovation and competitiveness;
  • making use of the region's resources and assets;
  • improving the quality of the environment;
  • cooperation among sectors and the construction of infrastructure to improve access, while respecting the complementarity of Community funds.

The Operational Programme for the Centro region will help to achieve one of the essential objectives of the national strategic reference framework, i.e. balanced regional development throughout the area.

2. Expected impact of the investment

The aim of the programme is to strengthen competitiveness by:

  • promoting innovation and creating small enterprises, as well as establishing conditions conducive to investment in the region;
  • revitalising the towns and improving living conditions such as transport and the enhancement of local areas, culture and health;
  • implementing risk protection and management of the tremendous variety of natural resources.

3.  Priorities

The Operational Programme is centred on six priorities:

Priority 1: Competitiveness, innovation, knowledge [about 37.6% of total investment]

The proposed investment for this priority concerns the development of the information society and actions to create and modernise enterprises.

Priority 2: Development of towns and urban systems [about 16.9% of total investment]

Investment for the restoration of local heritage in the towns and the upgrading of urban networks, together with urban mobility, will make it possible to improve the safety of inhabitants and their quality of life.

Priority 3: Strengthening and enhancing local areas [about 23.2% of total investment]

The aim of this priority is to improve goods and services in rural areas by expanding mobility and creating infrastructure for social and regional cohesion.

Priority 4: Protecting and enhancing the environment [about 11.9% of total investment]

The actions under this priority concern:

  • management of water resources;
  • enhancement of coastal areas;
  • protection and enhancement of sensitive areas;
  • waste management.

Priority 5: Governance and institutional capacity [about 8.2% of total investment]

This priority concerns the management of the programme.

Priority 6: Technical assistance [about 2.3% of total investment]

Technical assistance is planned for the implementation of the programme. The funding may be used for administration, monitoring, assessment and control.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme : 'Centro'

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
Competitiveness, innovation, knowledge 576 892 050 504 967 846 1 081 859 896
Development of towns and urban systems 250 000 000 236 650 793 486 650 793
Strengthening and enhancing local areas 468 000 000 200 571 428 668 571 428
Protecting and enhancing the environment 210 756 820 133 077 877 343 834 697
Governance and institutional capacity 140 681 178 94 454 484 235 135 662
Technical Assistance 55 303 076 9 759 366 65 062 442
Total 1 701 633 124 1 179 481 794 2 881 114 918