About the Programme
The Cooperation Programme “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020” was approved by the European Commission on 09/09/2015 by Decision C(2015)6283.
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.
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 Greece-Bulgaria cross-border eligible area for the programming period 2014-2020 extends to 40.202 km2 and has a total population of 2.7 million inhabitants. It covers four territorial units at NUTS II level (Regions), and 11 territorial units at NUTS III level (Districts). The eligible area extends across the entire Greek-Bulgarian border and is neighbouring with Turkey (east) and FYROM (west), both countries aspiring to access to the EU. It is part of the most south-eastern non-insular area of EU, and it is situated between three seas: the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Ionian-Adriatic Sea. Finally, it sits at the crossroad of strategic fossil fuel pipelines supplying the EU market and TEN transport axes.
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
Strengthening the entrepreneurship culture and collaboration in the eligible programme area (STRENGTHEN)
About the project
“STRENGTHEN” project aims at capacity building through the provision of non-formal, general adult education and the formulation of a joint strategy for the enhancement of collaboration in the cross-border area (in addition to business support and actions targeting the entrepreneurship climate).
1 – A Competitive and Innovative Cross-Border Area
To Improve entrepreneurship SME support systems