The European Commission on Tuesday adopted a new interreg programme that aims to increase the economic competitiveness in the Greece-Italy border area by supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and the clustering of economic activities.
The new programme, worth over 123 million euros, with nearly 105 million euros coming from the European Regional Development Fund, will promote interaction among SMEs while stimulating innovative processes in industries exploiting common local resources.
Furthermore, the programme will improve the joint management of the impact of human activities on natural resources in urban, lowland and coastal Ionian and Adriatic areas. This will enhance the protection of maritime and land biodiversity.
The regions and provinces involved in the “Interreg V-A Greece-Italy” programme are: Taranto, Brindisi, Lecce, Foggia, Bari, Barletta-Andria-Trani in Italy and Arta, Thesprotia, Ioannina, Preveza, Zakynthos, Kerkyra, Kefalinia, Lefkada, Aitoloakarnania, Achaia and Ilia in Greece.
“I am glad to have adopted this programme today”, Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said.
“By focusing on a few priorities able to show results, this programme will contribute to creating growth and quality jobs in the Greek-Italian border region.”
The programme will focus on three priorities:
– Innovation and competitiveness, with investments in R&I and SMEs contributing to the building of a strong export based economy. Emphasis is put on sectors with high growth potential such as the agro-food industry, blue growth, tourism, cultural heritage, cultural and creative industries.
– Integrated environmental management. This priority aims at facilitating the development and implementation of common approaches to the management of the environment, promotion of the cultural and natural heritage and fostering shared potentials and responsibilities in the field of environmental protection and risk prevention.
– Multimodal sustainable transport system. This will be achieved by investments in regional and cross-border connections which will improve the accessibility to transport infrastructures, the coordination of cross-border transport systems and procedures, the integration with Regional, National and cross-border Transport Plans, as well as the promotion of an efficient and environmental-friendly mobility and transport system.
The total budget of the cross-border cooperation programme is 123,176,899 euros with total EU contribution (ERDF- European Regional Development Fund) at 104,700,362 euros.