Operational Programme 'Increase of Economic Competitiveness'

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


Additional tools


On July 12, the European Commission approved the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Operational programme for Romania for the period 2007-2013, entitled "Operational Programme Increase of Economic Competitiveness". The total budget of the programme is around EUR 3 billion and the Community assistance amounts to EUR 2.5 billion (approximately 12.7% of the total EU money invested in Romania under Cohesion policy 2007-2013).

1. The purpose and aim of the EU investment

The general objective is the increase of Romanian companies’ productivity, in compliance with the principles of sustainable development, and reducing the disparities compared to the average productivity of the European Union. The target is an average annual growth of GDP per employed person by about 5.5%. This will allow Romania to reach approximately 55% of the EU average productivity by 2015.

2. The expected impact of the investment

The funds are expected to boost the creation and the development of enterprises, mainly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), throughout Romanian regions. Their internal management and their access to international markets will be promoted. More than 5 000 jobs are thus expected to be created and it is hoped that the exported turn over will increase by 10% in assisted SMEs. In addition, up to 500 start-ups are expected to be incubated through the JEREMIE initiative (Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprises).

As regards actions dedicated to supporting innovation and Research and Development (R&D), the funds should contribute to increase the private expenditures in that sector, by € 270 million in 2015, but also allow further patent applications to be issued (50). 400 new jobs are also expected to be created in this area.

Regarding Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the Funds will act both on the supply and demand sides. In particular, attention will be paid to the market failure areas, where the endowment of broadband networks will be promoted. Consequently, it is expected that 5 000 new companies will be connected in those areas. E-government tools will also be developed, with up to one million registered users expected.

Lastly, the promotion of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficiency is expected to lead to 30% of reduction of polluting emissions in the assisted enterprises, whereas 120 MW is expected to be installed in RES production.

3. Priority axes

Taking into account the possibilities for improvement of the competitive position of the Romanian enterprises, the following priority axes have been identified:

Priority axis 1: An innovative and eco-efficient productive system

The objectives under this priority axis reside in the consolidation and sustainable growth of the Romanian productive sector and the establishment of a favourable environment for enterprises’ development. It is necessary to transpose the EU legislation into national legislation on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Priority axis 2: Research, Technological Development and Innovation for competitiveness

This priority axis focuses on several issues meant to contribute to the following aims: the increase of research capacity by investing in the development of R&D infrastructure and attracting young researchers and high-level specialists both in R&D institutions (universities and research institutes) and in companies with research departments; the strengthening of knowledge supply from universities and research institutes; the stimulation of the technology transfer based on the cooperation between R&D institutions and enterprises; the stimulation of innovation demand of enterprises; the creation and reinforcement of high-tech firms and the development of poles of excellence and competitiveness.

Priority axis 3: ICT for private and public sectors

The objective is to support the economic competitiveness through increasing the interactions between the public sector, enterprises and citizens by fully exploiting the ICT potential.

The main actions to be carried out in order to achieve this objective address the need to improve the ICT infrastructure in market failure areas (under served rural and small urban areas), to develop and effectively use the electronic public services and to promote a secure and dynamic e–business environment. From this perspective, it will be necessary to introduce and sustain innovative productive systems in the administrative process, in day-to-day life and to develop a competitive market for a new generation of products and services.

Priority axis 4: Increasing energy efficiency and security of supply, in the context of combating climate change

An efficient, flexible, safe and clean energy infrastructure is a necessary precondition for economic development as it boosts productivity, and thus competitiveness. Romania aims to improve energy efficiency and to increase the share of electricity produced from renewable resources in the national gross electricity consumption.

The share of electricity produced from renewable energy resources in the national gross electricity consumption was about 29% in 2004, close to the target of 33% by 2010, but almost entirely in large hydropower plants. Therefore, the gap should be bridged primarily by other renewable sources, in order to avoid a heavy reliance on hydro energy produced in large capacities.

Priority axis 5: Technical Assistance

The objective of this priority axis is to provide support for the programme implementation process and effective use of the Community financial input and national co-financing.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Increase of Economic Competitiveness'

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
An innovative and eco-efficient productive system 928 651 290 151 175 785 1 079 827 075
Research, Technological Development and Innovation for competitiveness 536 395 116 109 864 060 646 259 176
ICT for private and public sectors 383 170 104 86 265 570 469 435 674
Increasing energy efficiency and security of supply, in the context of combating climate change 638 475 370 87 064 824 725 540 194
Technical Assistance 67 530 229 22 510 078 90 040 307
Total 2 554 222 109 456 880 317 3 011 102 426