The Cooperation Programme “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020” was approved by the European Commission on 13/12/2016 by Decision C(2016)8708.
The total budget (ERDF and national contribution) for the European Territorial Programme “Greece-Bulgaria 2007-2013” is €130,262,835.00. The total financing consists of €110.723.409, 75 (85%) ERDF funding and €19.539.425, 25 (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 cooperation area for the programming period 2014-2020 is identical to the current ETC programme. It 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 neighboring 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
Greece and Bulgaria, two neighboring countries with a rich past, since the end of the 1990s have entered an era of closer co-operation, due to the INTERREG Programme “Greece-Bulgaria”.
The main idea behind “INTERREG” is that countries have issues which can be better solved if they work together with their neighbors than if each one remains confined within its borders. So for this reason, in our Programme we promote activities that bring our people closer.
One needs to look no further than the land and the rivers we share and move on to roads and then to culture, food and traditions. In every case what happens on the one side of the border affects the other side as well. The need for joint actions is gradually becoming the normal than the exception.
We focus in Northern Greece and in Southern Bulgaria around our common border.
All of our actions take place in the area of Evros, Kavala, Xanthi, Rodopi, Drama, Thessaloniki, Serres and in Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Kardzhali, Haskovo.
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
For this reason, the European Union together with Greece and Bulgaria are providing 130.000.000 Euros from 2014 up to 2020!
We improve co-operation on issues of common interest and deal with the challenges of the modern era in a more efficient and effective way. Our ultimate aim is a better everyday life.
We cooperate! We act jointly and we all win!