Operational Programme 'Balearic Islands'

Programme under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 17 December 2007 the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands in Spain for the period 2007-2013.

This Operational Programme comes under the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective and has a total budget of some 226 million euros. Assistance from the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to around 107 million euros, representing approximately 0.3% of Community contributions in Spain under the cohesion policy for 2007-2013.

The anticipated national contribution is 119 million euros, and may consist partially of Community loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other loan instruments.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The overall objective of the programme is to develop and consolidate a competitive economic structure in order to aim towards sustainable development of the region and achieve greater economic and social cohesion.

This overall objective requires consideration to be given to territorial, economic and social variables as well as to horizontal factors such as the environment and the principle of equality between the sexes.

There are therefore three main objectives:

  • Improving the competitiveness of the region's production structures;
  • strengthening territorial links and accessibility;
  • preserving and guaranteeing the availability of natural resources and promoting sustainable use of the territory and the environment.

The main actions implemented under the programme are intended to contribute significantly to the Lisbon strategy objectives, in particular by supporting research, technology transfer, innovation and entrepreneurship.

In the context of policy in relation to the information society, 7.30% of Community resources are earmarked for supporting services and applications in favour of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as for developing and promoting information and communication technologies (ICT) in the public services.

In order to promote the use of clean and renewable energy, a number of regional government buildings and installations are to be equipped with photovoltaic panels.

In addition, the improvement and development of the railway network on the island of Mallorca is one of the key actions in the programme, as it constitutes an environmentally-friendly means of transport and an alternative to the road network, where saturation presents significant problems.

2. Expected impact of the investments

Assessing the impact of investments through the implementation of the programme needs to be tempered by the knowledge that the financial allocation imposes significant restrictions with regard to the possibility of influencing the variables under consideration.

Nevertheless, the results expected from the programme may be estimated as follows:

  • increasing the percentage of expenditure on research and development (R&D) from 0.27% to 1.44% between now and 2013;
  • increasing the percentage of enterprises producing exports from 1.32% to 2% between now and 2013;
  • increasing the proportion of renewable energy installations from 2.27% to 6% between now and 2013;

But also:

  • 156 R&D projects undertaken;
  • 17 research, development and innovation (R&D&I) centres benefiting;
  • 60 enterprises created;
  • 535 persons, including 235 women, participating in projects;
  • 25.2 km of railway built.

3. Priorities

The operational programme has five priorities:

Priority 1: Making the knowledge-based economy more dynamic (research and development, innovation and the information society), innovation and development of enterprises [approximately 56% of total investment]]

In the context of R&D&I, the programme aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • strengthening the innovation system in the Balearic Islands by developing physical support for the consolidation of a regional innovation system;
  • creating and developing public and private research centres to meet the demands of enterprises and the priorities of the national plan for research, development and innovation;
  • promoting high-quality R&D&I projects in sectors of strategic importance for the Balearic Islands;
  • promoting collaboration between technological research centres and enterprises in order to encourage high-quality research;
  • increasing the competitiveness of the production structures in the Balearic Islands.

In the field of development and innovation for enterprises, the objective is to promote the presence of enterprises from the Balearic Islands in international markets by supporting the creation of employers' promotion groups. This would make it possible to spot opportunities outside the territories, as well as to promote and participate in international trade fairs.

With regard to the information society, the main actions implemented under the programme are aimed at achieving two specific objectives, namely:

  • ensuring the development and promotion of the use of ICT in public services and SMEs and among citizens (in the fields of health, education, culture and information systems for citizens in general);
  • increasing the possibilities for applying and using these networks within enterprises (e-commerce, possibilities for networking, generating new business opportunities).

Priority 2: Environment and risk prevention [approximately 3% of total investment]]

The main line of intervention under this priority consists of recovering and giving new impetus to certain degraded areas with significant environmental values. This approach would enable conservation and the recovery of biodiversity in these areas, but also the establishment of parks for public use or even some alternative economic activities, such as rural tourism (processing of dumps and landfills, recovery of land occupied by degraded industrial and mining installations, waste processing).

Priority 3: Energy resources and access to transport services [approximately 29.5% of total investment]

Actions planned under this priority are aimed at improving access to environmentally-friendly transport services. The main action consists of improving rail transport infrastructures on Mallorca as an alternative to road transport, where saturation presents significant problems. Extending the rail network will enable connections between the capital and areas of greater population density and economic activity, and will aim to reduce levels of atmospheric and noise pollution, as well as improve energy consumption.

With regard to energy resources, the regional administration will install photovoltaic panels on public buildings (schools, hospitals, administrative buildings, wastewater treatment plants). This will not only make it possible to promote the use of clean and renewable energy but will also provide an example for other initiatives.

Priority 4: Sustainable local and urban development [approximately 10% of total investment]

Actions implemented under this priority are aimed on the one hand at protecting and developing the natural and cultural heritage and, on the other, to carrying out an integrated urban regeneration project in the context of the "URBANA" national innovation initiative, which is an extension of the Community's "URBAN" initiative.

Priority 5: Technical assistance [approximately 1.5% of total investment]

This priority aims to provide support for the implementation of an effective management, monitoring and control system for evaluating the operational programme, as well as for communication and publicity under the programme.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Balearic Islands'

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
Knowledge-based economy, innovation and development of undertakings 63 260 352 63 260 352 126 520 704
Environment and risk prevention 3 000 000 3 000 000 6 000 000
Energy resources and access to transport services 27 500 000 39 500 002 67 000 002
Sustainable local and urban development 11 729 121 11 729 121 23 458 242
Technical assistance 1 707 092 1 707 092 3 414 184
Total 107 196 565 119 196 567 226 393 132