The priorities of the Central Macedonia Regional Operational Programme (ROP) for the period 2000-2006 aim at making the Region more competitive and reducing intra-regional disparities in order to create conditions that will ensure long-term development in the Region, namely sustainable development and competitiveness.
With this in mind, the general strategic objective is expressed through:
(a) the exploitation of the key position of Thessaloniki in the Balkans, the European Union, the Black Sea region and the eastern Mediterranean; also exploitation of the special circumstances created by new technological, political, economic and social developments in the region,
(b) strengthening existing infrastructures and creating social conditions likely to favour balanced development in a framework of equal opportunities and an upgraded environment, with long-term prospects for improvement and development, and
(c) the implementation of corrective measures for the environment.
The general objective comprises six (6) priority axes. The first focuses on Thessaloniki, the Region’s principal growth area, and on the proper structures for making the city an international centre for the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship. Three of the priority axes aim at strengthening the provincial regions of Central Macedonia, and the remaining axes comprise horizontal actions.
Within the framework of these priority axes, special emphasis is placed on three types of action which aim to nurture a spirit of innovation, foster the integrated development of deprived urban areas and an integrated approach to the problems of disadvantaged, problematic rural areas. These types of action are carried out in parallel with and as a complement to the other actions.
1) In the actions for the 'Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurship', the Region proposes special measures that promote innovation, through the cooperation and networking of the most dynamic, outward-looking and modernising elements of the Region’s business, research and education spheres, in both the private and the public sector. Businesses are the focal point of this collaboration (with an important role for SMEs and including the services and tourism sectors) and the objective is to promote specific sectors of specialization and excellence as part of the image of the Region in the wider and international economic environment.
2) In the actions for the 'Integrated development of deprived urban areas', special plans that will be proposed by local authorities and approved by the Region shall be the vehicle via which emphasis is placed on small-scale urban zones where the urban environment is especially deprived and where there is a large concentration of disadvantaged social groups.
3) In the actions involving 'Integrated interventions in mountain/remote rural areas', special intervention zones will be identified where integrated programmes focusing on local initiatives will be implemented following a special procedure. Zones will be defined as problematic either due to economic and social disparities or due to an expected negative impact from the changes in the CAP, and will be categorized based on criteria set by the Monitoring Committee.
With regard to its structure, the ROP (first ROP approved by the European Commission on 22/03/2001 and revised ROP approved on 27/12/2004) includes 7 priority axes the 7th of which refers to the Programme’s Technical Assistance. The ROP objectives will be achieved via 43 measures with a multi-sectoral dimension. The Programme’s financial data are provided below:
Overall Cost (Ο.C.)
Public Expenditure (P.E.)
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
73.2 % T.C.
75.7 % P.E.
European Social Fund (ESF)
6.7 % T.C.
8.3 % P.E.
European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund - Guidance Section (EAGGF-Guidance Section)
20.1 % T.C.
16.0 % P.E.
0.87 % P.E.
The public expenditure of the programme, amounting to €1255.7 million for the programming period 2000 - 2006, together with private sector participation totalling €291.5 million produce an approximate overall cost of €1547.2 million.
The Regional Operational Programme is divided into seven (7) priority axes that are broken down into 42 measures with various actions affecting all sectors of development. The objectives and strategic priorities set by the ROP for the development of the Region of Central Macedonia are implemented through these actions and are in harmony with the broader national policy of the involved ministries and the European Union.