Operational Programme 'Cohesion Fund – ERDF'

Programme of Community assistance from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the 'Convergence' objective


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On 7 December 2007, the European Commission approved an operational programme of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the "Convergence" objective in the Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha, Extremadura and Galicia and the Cohesion Fund in the whole of Spain for the period 2007-2013.

The programme has a total budget of around €6.1 billion. The maximum amount of Community funding for this programme is €4.9 billion, comprising €1.4 billion from the ERDF and €3.5 billion from the Cohesion Fund, representing about 13.9% of Community contributions to Spain undre the cohesion policy 2007-2013.

The planned national contribution amounts to €1.2 billion and may be made up partly of Community loans granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other loan instruments.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

The strategic objectives aim to boost the development of environmental and transport infrastructures on the basis of exacting quality and efficiency standards while strengthening the synergies between environmental protection and economic growth.

In the field of t ransport, priority is given to trans-European transport networks (TEN-T), and in particular to high-speed railways and to seaports. As regards the environment, the investment will focus on waste and sewage treatment facilities and on water distribution systems.

With this in mind, the programme's objectives are as follows:

  • to promote the development of railways and ports as key elements of intermodal transport;
  • to guarantee the quality of water distributed in accordance with European standards;
  • to ensure a high level of protection of water and promote its sustainable use;
  • to prevent, reduce and treat the production of waste and its harmful effects.

2. Expected impact of the investments

Together with the national contribution, the joint assistance from the Cohesion Fund and the ERDF will have significant effects, in terms of both implementation and results.

It should lead to the creation of more than 15 000 jobs and result in savings of around 7 hours 30 minutes in journey times on all the high-speed lines receiving assistance from the Community Funds. It can be estimated that 3 million people will benefit from improved water distribution systems and 2 million from improved water purification systems.

3. Priorities

The operational programme is structured around four priorities, two for each Fund, plus technical assistance.

Priority 1: TEN-T (Cohesion Fund ) [approx. 32.6% of total investment]

The aim of this priority is primarily to finance trans-European transport network projects as part of the investments set out in the Transport Infrastructures Strategic Plan (TISP), particularly in the high-speed railway and port sectors.

The TISP advocates development of intermodality as a factor for rationalising and improving the quality of transport. The aim of aid for port infrastructures is to create suitable conditions for intermodal transport and development of "sea motorways".

In the case of railways, the focus is on the high-speed network, complying with the technical specifications for interoperability (TSI).

Priority 2: Environment and sustainable development (Cohesion Fund) [approx. 38.5% of total investment]

This priority is in line with one of the priorities of the national reform programme aimed at improving the quality of water for human consumption and increasing the proportion of waste water used.

The aim is to guarantee the sustainable use of water and increase water purification capacity while improving distribution systems. The measures co-financed under this priority relate in particular to:

  • purification and treatment of waste water;
  • improvement of drinking-water distribution networks;
  • management of household and industrial waste.

Priority 3: Environment, nature, water resources and risk prevention (ERDF) [approx. 3.4% of total investment]

With the same aim as the previous priority, this priority focuses on measures by Central Government to complement the measures taken during the period 2000-2006 by the Cohesion Fund, i.e. water distribution and waste water purification measures regarded as major projects and located in the regions receiving aid under the "Convergence" objective, especially Galicia and Castile-La Mancha.

Priority 4: Transport and energy (ERDF) [approx. 24.3% of total investment]

This priority relates to specific measures to supplement in the regions of Andalusia and Extremadura the measures concerning the high-speed rail sector. In the former region, two major modernisations are planned:

  • the Almería-Murcia region high-speed line;
  • the line from Antequera to Grenada;
  • In Extremadura, the Navalmoral de la Mata-Cáceres-Mérida-Badajoz section of the Madrid-Cáceres-Mérida-Badajoz high-speed line is financed.

Priority 5: Technical assistance (Cohesion Fund) [approx. 1.2% of total investment]

This priority will provide support for the management, follow-up, evaluation and monitoring of the operational programme and for communication and publicity activities.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Cohesion Fund – ERDF'

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
TEN-T (Cohesion Fund) 1 597 905 643 399 476 411 1 997 382 054
Environment and sustainable development (Cohesion Fund) 1 883 822 810 470 955 702 2 354 778 512
Environment, nature, water resources and risk prevention (ERDF) 168 230 000 42 057 500 210 287 500
Transport and energy (ERDF) 1 188 721 334 297 180 334 1 485 901 668
Technical assistance (Cohesion Fund) 61 484 555 15 371 139 76 855 694
Total 4 900 164 342 1 225 041 086 6 125 205 428