Operational Programme 'Melilla'

Under the 'Convergence Objective', co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


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On 20 November 2007, the European Commission approved an Operational Programme for the autonomous city of Melilla for the period 2007-2013.

This Operational Programme comes under the ‘Convergence’ objective. It has a total budget of around 63.5 million euros. The assistance provided by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is around 43.7 million euros, representing some 0.1% of Community contributions to Spain under the cohesion policy 2007-2013.

The national contribution provided for amounts to 16.7 million euros and may be partly met by Community loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and by other lending instruments.

1. Aim and purpose of the programme

The strategy of the Operational Programme is based primarily on:

  • regional issues highlighted by an identification and analysis of the region’s potential;
  • the gains achieved during the previous stages of the Community programme;
  • the Community’s strategic guidelines and the national strategic framework, which establish the principles for the allocation of Community funding.

As a complement to other Community programmes for the city, the Operational Programme for the autonomous city of Melilla thus pursues a development strategy based on:

  • an economic pillar aimed at stimulating growth in order to ensure convergence with the rest of Spain and the EU;
  • a social pillar aimed at enhancing a balanced redistribution of wealth in order to reinforce territorial and social cohesion.

In operational terms, the programme specifically encourage the promotion of:

  • innovation;
  • the knowledge-based economy;
  • development of private enterprise and the information society (34.6%);
  • sustainable development (27.1%);
  • improvements to the existing infrastructure (26.8%).

Social cohesion and sustainable local and urban development complement the priority areas, with 9.1% of the budget for the programme. The contribution from the Structural Funds allocated to the Lisbon priorities accounts for 67.23% of the total budget for the programme.

2. Expected impact of investment

The expected objectives of the programme include:

  • maintaining the annual growth rate for GDP at 4.1%;
  • increasing per capita GDP to 22 000 euros;
  • decreasing the unemployment rate by 0.68% compared with the 2006 level;
  • increasing productivity by 1% to approach the Spanish average.

3. Priorities

The operational programme is divided into seven priority areas:

Priority 1: Development of the knowledge-based economy (research and technological development (RTD), information society, information and communication technology (ICT)) [approx. 3.7% of total investment]

The first priority has the following objectives:

  • to strengthen human capital in the framework of RTD, the information society and ICT;
  • to create a government research centre as a driving force for growth;
  • to support technology transfers to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • to support viable technological research projects.

Particular attention will be focused on carrying out innovative projects aimed at improving the quality and competitiveness of SMEs and the city administration, in addition to promoting the creation of links between research groups and the corresponding socio-economic sectors.

Priority 2: Entrepreneurial development and innovation [approx. 17.3% of total investment]

This priority is based on the following strategic objectives and priorities:

  • diversification of the local production structures and, more specifically, growth in the level of economic activity and employment in the hi-tech sectors;
  • modernisation, specialisation and consolidation of employment in the ‘traditional’ sectors;
  • enhancement of the city’s human capital, with particular focus on women.

Most of the activities included under this priority are specifically designed to satisfy the needs of SMEs with regard to technological innovation, globalisation, access to financial resources and technological services and inspectorates.

Priority 3: Environment, protection of natural resources and water management, distribution and treatment [approx. 32% of total investment]

The strategic objectives and priorities under this priority are as follows:

  • to eliminate the shortages in the water supply for the general public and businesses;
  • to complete the water purification and waste water circuits;
  • to protect natural areas and promote biodiversity;
  • to reinforce the prevention of natural risks.

In this connection, initiatives for integrated water management guaranteeing its availability and quality should be highlighted. Particular attention will also be focused on protecting and regenerating the aquatic environment and using instruments to enhance the efficient use of this resource.

Priority 4: Transport and energy [around 34% of total investment]

This priority has the following principal objectives:

  • extending and modernising the network, including creating new connections with the urban centre;
  • increasing the operational capacity of the port and its level of service in order to cope with cargo and passenger flows;
  • positioning energy as an instrument of regional development, permitting enhancement of the use of native, renewable and clean energy resources.

This will make it possible to:

  • facilitate communication between the different parts of the city without going through the city centre;
  • position the port as a key strategic element in city communication, for both the supply of goods and the transport of passengers;
  • create new economic activities that will improve citizens’ quality of life and create new jobs by promoting native energy resources.

Priority 5: Urban and local infrastructure [approx. 10.7% of total investment]

Five strategic objectives are proposed for this priority:

  • enhancing the natural resources of the city;
  • enhancing the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of Melilla;
  • creating and improving tourist activities;
  • promoting and improving urban commerce and tourism;
  • promoting sustainable urban development.

These activities are an extension of those carried out during previous programming periods, involving the restoration, rehabilitation and improvement of the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of Melilla. They will also be extended to other cultural activities located in various urban areas of Melilla requiring modernisation and rehabilitation.

Priority 6: Social infrastructure [approx. 1.3% of total investment]

The objective of this priority is to extend the specific infrastructure that supports equal opportunities and, in particular, to increase the number of infant day-care centres and make improvements to the existing ones.

Priority 7: Technical assistance and reinforcement of institutional capacity [approx. 1% of total investment]

Technical assistance must allow management, monitoring, evaluation, animation, information and communication activities to be cofinanced.

Financial and Technical information

Operational Programme 'Melilla'

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
Development of the knowledge-based economy (RTD+information society+ICT) 1 875 001 468 753 2 343 754
Entrepreneurial development and innovation 7 720 509 3 308 790 11 029 299
Environment; protection of natural resources; water management, distribution and treatment; disaster prevention. 14 301 245 6 129 106 20 430 351
Transport and energy 14 137 620 7 571 584 21 709 204
Urban and local regeneration 4 790 369 2 053 013 6 843 382
Social infrastructure 626 250 156 563 782 813
Technical assistance and reinforcement of institutional capacity 337 500 84 375 421 875
Total 43 788 494 19 772 184 63 560 678