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Brussels, 24 January 2002

Urban II programme : European Union contributes EUR 9.55 million to urban regeneration in Perama, Greece

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Perama area, Greece. This URBAN(1) II Community Initiative Programme will provide about € 9.55 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted about € 3.18 million from the public sector while approximately € 0.65 million is expected to be spent by the private sector, creating a total investment of about € 13.38 million. Programme priorities will include improving the quality of urban infrastructure and spatial planning, supporting the local economy, preventing social exclusion and capacity building for the local workforce.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER said: "The URBAN Community Initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people and organisations at all stages in the decision making process. The URBAN II programme for the town of Perama is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme's priorities for local development. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Perama."

Perama was affected by the collapse of its ship-repairing industry in the 1980s, which led to unemployment for 75% of the male population working in manufacturing. The interventions planned in Perama cover an area of 236 hectares with 25,000 inhabitants. Interventions are concentrated mostly along the coastal zone, which runs in parallel to the shipbuilding zone and includes a large part of the latter.

The objectives concentrate on the revitalisation of the local economy, taking advantage of modern technologies in the ship-repairing sector on the one hand and the prospect of urban tourism, exploiting the cultural tradition of Perama, on the other hand.

The programme is developed along 3 priority axes:

  • Multifunctional urban regeneration environmental protection. Projects build upon the area's marine heritage, focusing in particular on shipbuilding. To achieve this, an "eco-museum model" will be utilised, making Perama the first town in Greece to implement such a concept. Interventions aiming to improve the environment and to reduce pollution are also planned (Community contribution: € 4.45 million)

  • Support to entrepreneurial activities. The creation of a Centre for e-commerce, technical assistance and support for technological modernisation of the ship-repairing sector are the core activities of this priority (Community contribution: € 1.95 million)

  • Social exclusion equal opportunities. Actions focus on improving the quality and expanding the range of social care and health services, including employment with special emphasis for women and socially vulnerable groups. Vocational training will be provided for employed and unemployed persons (Community contribution: € 2.78 million).

An additional amount of € 0.38 million (Community contribution) will finance technical assistance.


The goal of the URBAN Community Initiative is "economic and social regeneration of cities and of neighbourhoods in crisis in order to promote sustainable urban development". The second round of URBAN ("URBAN II") will cover the period 2000-2006, supporting 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 728.3 million and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN II allocation for Greece amounts to € 25.5 million. Programmes have been submitted for Perama, Komotini and Iraklion.

A particular feature of URBAN II is the development of innovative models for urban regeneration. Another feature is a strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local actors. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which falls under the responsibility of Mr Barnier. Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public spaces, local employment initiatives, the improvement of education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, developing the potential created by information society technologies.

The Commission adopts programmes, which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These programmes run for the whole of the period 2000-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

Management Authority

Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works

Management Authority for URBAN II Community Initiative

87 Mihalakopoulou Street


Phone: +30 (0) 1 / 6433829

Fax: +30 (0) 1 / 6458690


Further information

More detailed information on URBAN II can be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following European Commission website:

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.

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