COHESION POLICY 2007-2013: the Commission approves the first 5 programmes for the Polish regions
European Commission - IP/07/1285 06/09/2007
Brussels, 6 September 2007
Regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner Commissioner is today in Krynica (southern Poland) where she will be addressing Economic Forum, the most important meeting place for the economic and political elites of Central and Eastern Europe. On this occasion she will sign five operational programmes (OP) for Polish regions for 2007-2013. These five programmes represent a total amount of 6.7 billion euros, which is approximately 10% of the total allocation to be invested in Poland under European Cohesion policy 2007-2013.
Commissioner Hübner expressed her satisfaction and stated "The Polish regions have taken their role very seriously in implementing the renewed Lisbon strategy. The share of expenditure allocated to Lisbon objectives in the Pomeranian Programme for instance has gone as far as to 47% of its total budget. This is very encouraging for the regions and for European regional policy as a whole".
The five adopted programmes cover the following voivodeships: Pomerania (Pomorskie), Silesia (Śląskie), Lower Silesia (Dolnośląskie), Greater Poland (Wielkopolskie) and Lesser Poland (Małopolskie). In total, Poland has presented 21 operational programmes to the Commission: 1 related to the European Social Fund (ESF) while the 20 others will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) or Cohesion Fund. There are 5 national programmes and 16 regional programmes for each of the 16 Polish regions. The remaining programmes are under final discussion with the government and the regional authorities and should be approved before the end of October. All of Poland is covered by the "Convergence objective" in the new framework for 2007-2013.
The priorities defined in the individual regional programmes are fully in line with the priorities set out in the Polish National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the priorities agreed with the Commission in May. Strengthening and promoting regional competitiveness and innovation will support the Polish regions and help them become more attractive offering increased quality of life and more adaptability and qualifications for the country's workforce. The focus is also on the attractiveness of cities with projects to diversify tourism and improve transport systems, the development of the knowledge society (in order to provide fast and safe Internet access) or to support environmentally friendly, renewable energy.
Danuta Hübner recalled that in the new regulation, the Commission had offered new instruments in the form of revolving funds providing for support for Small and Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE) and urban regeneration measures (JESSICA). She mentioned that Greater Poland (Wielkopolskie) had clearly committed itself and programmed 60 million euros for JEREMIE and welcomed the region's willingness to act as a coordinator with other regions in this area.
Now that the programmes have been adopted, the implementation of the policy and selection of concrete projects will be able to start on the ground, led by the "managing authorities".
Note for editors:
The biggest Polish programme is the national OP for Infrastructure and
Environment that will include investments of nearly € 28 billion from the
European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund. The second largest
programme is the OP Human Capital with investments of nearly € 10 billion
from the European Social Fund. The remaining national programmes are: OP
Innovative Economy (€ 8.3 billion), OP Development of Eastern Poland
(€ 2.27 billion) and OP Technical Assistance (€ 517 million).
Information on JEREMIE and JESSICA initiatives is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/funds/2007/jjj/index_en.htm