Operational Programme 'Galicia'

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


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On 28 November 2007, the European Commission approved an operational programme for the Autonomous Community of Galicia in Spain covering the period 2007-2013.

The operational programme comes under the "Convergence" objective, which has a total budget of around €3.2 billion. The financing provided by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to around €2.2 billion, representing some 6.2% of Community funding for Spain under the cohesion policy 2007-2013.

1. Purpose and aim of the programme

For the period 2007-2013, the Autonomous Community of Galicia has redirected its development strategy to the promotion of factors linked to the Lisbon Strategy, such as:

  • restoring the foundations for competitiveness;
  • increasing its growth potential and productivity;
  • strengthening social cohesion through research, innovation and the enhancement of its human capital.

The regional strategy is built around seven thematic areas which underpin the priorities of the programme. A detailed description of the strategic priorities makes it possible to estimate the share of Community funding allocated to the Lisbon priorities at more than 72% of the ERDF.

The Autonomous Community of Galicia has chosen to place development of the knowledge-based economy (research and development (R&D), the information society and information and communication technologies - ICT), and transport and energy at the heart of its strategy for socially integrated, sustainable development. The ultimate aim is to reinforce the overall competitiveness of the region's economic system.

2. Expected impact of the investments

The programme objectives for the period 2007-2013 can be estimated as follows:

  • as regards GDP, the economy of Galicia will see a 2.9% real increase in the rate of growth;
  • a planned increase in R&D expenditure from the current 0.88% (2007) of GDP to 1.87% of GDP by 2013;
  • the creation of 84 000 jobs;
  • the creation of 421 innovative businesses;
  • an increase in work productivity with an average annual growth rate of 0.87%.

3. Priorities

The operational programme is structured around seven priorities:

Priority 1: Development of the knowledge-based economy (R&D, information society and ICT) [around 8.5% of total investment]

The economic globalisation process has clearly shown that investment in research and innovation, and the rapid adaptability of economies to new ICT are behind long-term increases in productivity and growth.

With this priority, Galicia is choosing to become a knowledge-based society by creating new scientific and technological infrastructures, and by reinforcing the competitiveness of its businesses through the promotion of research and technological development (R&D), business innovation and the dissemination of ICT.

Particular attention is paid to the transfer of technologies and the improvement of cooperation networks between small and medium—sized enterprises (SMEs), and between SMEs and other businesses, universities, colleges, the regional authorities, research centres, and centres of science and technology.

Priority 2: Development and entrepreneurial innovation [approx. 16% of total investment]

This priority, which is closely linked to the previous one, aims to:

  • introduce efficient environmental management systems for businesses;
  • encourage growth in the production structures of Galicia;
  • increase interregional competitiveness and help to attract foreign investment.

This priority also focuses on promoting the growth of SMEs by developing their innovative potential in order to allow them to access new markets in the globalised economy.

Priority 3: Environment, protection of natural resources, management, distribution and treatment of water, risk prevention [around 22% of total investment]

The key aim of this priority is to boost the environmental potential of Galicia in order to achieve sustainable economic development while protecting and improving the natural surroundings, through the clean, rational use of natural resources and the establishment of warning and environmental risk-prevention mechanisms.

Special attention is paid to the management and distribution of drinking water and the treatment of waste water.

Priority 4: Transport and energy [around 41.5% of total investment]

The actions envisaged under this priority have two aims:

  • to work on completing the connection with the trans-European transport networks and improving the interoperability of the various means of transport;
  • to continue to promote the production of sustainable energy and improve energy efficiency.

The infrastructure and geographical characteristics of the region of Galicia make it highly dependent on road transport (people and goods), which has a particularly negative impact on the environment. The programme intends to help improve the accessibility of Galicia and develop environmentally-friendly transport services.

The main actions will focus on improving infrastructure in the areas of road, rail, port and airport connections. All these actions will complement those envisaged under the Cohesion Fund.

Three measures relate to energy resources:

  • encouraging and promoting the use of solar energy;
  • encouraging the use of biomass energy;
  • developing clean urban transport.

Priority 5: Local and urban regeneration (development) [approx. 10.4% of total investment]

The Autonomous Community of Galicia has a number of problems in the field of local and urban development, such as the progressive ageing of the large rural population, scattered over areas which are difficult of access, or population concentration in coastal towns.

As regards rural areas, priority will be given to the development of entrepreneurship among the population in order to counteract the rural exodus and increase the ability of these areas to adapt to the challenges of the globalised economy.

In the field of urban development, the essential aim will be to meet the needs of towns, in particular as regards their social and economic regeneration.

Priority 6: Social infrastructure [approx. 1.4% of total investment]

The creation of social infrastructure is essential in view of the ageing population and deruralisation. Five fields of action have been identified for this priority:

  • the creation of education infrastructure and, more specifically, the construction and functional adaptation of non-university centres for education;
  • the creation of infrastructure for children under the age of three;
  • an increase in the number of shelters for women who are victims of domestic abuse;
  • the adaptation of existing education and training infrastructure to the new needs of society (ICT);
  • the establishment of support centres for all disadvantaged groups.

Priority 7: Technical assistance and the strengthening of institutional capacity [around 0.2% of total investment]

Technical assistance facilitates the co-financing of management, monitoring, evaluation, checking, coordination, information and communication activities in the context of the programme and operations carried out.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Galicia'

Intervention Type

Operational Programme

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Number of decision


Final approval date


Breakdown of finances by priority axis

Priority Axis EU Investment National Public Contribution Total Public Contribution
Development of the knowledge-based economy (R&D + information society + ICT) 213 839 142 53 459 792 267 298 934
Development and entrepreneurial innovation 361 696 333 155 012 717 516 709 050
Environment; protection of natural resources; management, distribution and treatment of water; risk prevention 486 270 296 208 401 559 694 671 855
Transport and energy 857 426 391 454 372 393 1 311 798 784
Urban and local regeneration 231 503 939 99 215 976 330 719 915
Social infrastructure 35 707 210 8 926 805 44 634 015
Technical assistance and strengthening of institutional capacity 5 101 030 1 275 260 6 376 290
Total 2 191 544 341 980 664 502 3 172 208 843