The Programme

About the Programme

INTERREG also knowns as European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) is one of the two goals of the EU Cohesion Policy. The Programme provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges between national, regional and local actors from different Member States.

The Interreg programmes are financed in the framework of the EU Regional Policy, also referred as Cohesion Policy due to its aim to dissolve regional disparities between Europe’s regions. The main idea of the Programme is that neighbouring countries can solve their common issues when they work together. This is the case with the neighbouring countries Greece and Bulgaria and the co-operation, due to the INTERREG Programme “Greece–Bulgaria”.

The Cooperation Programme “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020” was approved by the European Commission on 09/09/2015 by Decision C(2015)6283.

Budget

The total budget (ERDF and national contribution) for the European Territorial Programme “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020” is €130,262,836.00 .The total financing consists of €110.723.408 (85%) ERDF funding and €19.539.428 (15%) national contribution.

Eligible area

The eligible area of the Programme consists of the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (Prefectures of Evros, Kavala, Xanthi, Rodopi and Drama) and the Region of Central Macedonia (Prefectures of Thessaloniki and Serres) in Greece and the South-Central Planning Region and South-West Planning Region (Districts of Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Kardjali and Haskovo) in Bulgaria.

The settlement structure of the area is characterized by the presence of 10 medium-large cities (>50.000 inhabitants) which accumulate 38,2% of total population, and 25 small cities (10.000-50.000 inhabitants).

Despite the historically relatively small amounts of funds allocated, there is a long history of cooperation in the eligible area, which started with Community initiative INTERREG I (1989-1993).

The priority axes are:

PA 1: A Competitive and Entrepreneurship Promoting Cross-Border Area

PA 2: A Sustainable and climate adaptable Cross-Border area

PA 3: A better interconnected Cross-Border Area

PA 4: A socially inclusive Cross-Border area

PA 5: Technical Assistance

All of our actions take place in the eligible area. We work with public and other institutions on both sides of the border that can benefit and positively influence the widest possible numbers of inhabitants, funding a very diverse range of activities that fall in the sectors of competitiveness, environment, culture, transportation, health and social issues