box_t_l_c Regional Operational Programme box_t_r_c

PRIORITY AXIS 3: Reduction of interregional disparities in Central Macedonia



Total Cost


Public Expenditure


ERDF Contribution


ESF Contribution


National Public Expenditure


Private Participation


The priority aims to ensure equal development opportunities for the urban, chiefly, but also the rural population of Central Macedonia. This involves the exploitation of the development potential and promotion of the comparative advantages of rural areas by extending and/or installing functions at a level comparable with that of major urban centres. These functions aim to improve access to transport and telecommunication networks, and to the social health care/welfare and education infrastructure, modernise the urban centres while concurrently protecting the environment, promote cultural heritage and create opportunities for modern cultural creation, and they reinforce the ability of such areas to support existing businesses and to attract new entrepreneurial/economic activities.

A parallel objective is the implementation of special actions of integrated development in small-scale urban zones, where the urban environment is significantly degraded and a significant concentration of disadvantaged social groups can be found.

Priority Axis 3 consists of 9 Measures, namely:

Measure 3.1. Improvement and completion of the transport network in Central Macedonia

Measure 3.1 represents 49.7% of the public expenditure of Priority Axis 3. Following detailed land planning of the priorities on the regional road network, the points requiring intervention were identified to be the improvement of the connection between Thessaloniki and major urban centres in the Region, the improvement of alternative interregional connections with the Egnatia Highway (with Western Macedonia via Edessa, with Eastern Macedonia-Thrace via Serres), the completion/improvement of other - currently inadequate - connections between prefectures, generally necessary interventions to the road network to organize the road - railway networks, the modernization of the road from Thessaloniki to Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, and the completion and improvement of other freight transport infrastructure. The measure is supplemented by actions relating to the port and railway network of the Region of Central Macedonia.

Measure 3.2. Modernisation of health care and welfare infrastructure

The objective is focused on upgrading and improving health care and welfare infrastructure in the Region at all levels. This will be achieved with the implementation of Measure 3.2, the financing of which represents 11.9% of the public expenditure of the priority axis. In particular, the objective provides for actions such as upgrading and modernising the existing infrastructure of hospital units, improving the infrastructure of Health Centres, by ensuring high-quality services via corresponding interventions to improve (maintain) existing building infrastructure, renewal of building equipment and improvement of medical equipment, supplementation of building infrastructure, equipment and services. Moreover, interventions are provided for in the welfare sector, involving the erection of building facilities for day care centres and projects to improve building infrastructure for welfare institutions.

Measure 3.3. Modernisation of education infrastructure

The improvement of conditions in education at all levels and throughout the geographical territory of Central Macedonia is achieved through Measure 3.3., the financing of which represents 15.9% of the public expenditure of Priority Axis 3. The immediate objective of the measure is to ensure the existence of all necessary logistics infrastructure that facilitates the process of learning. Another objective is to provide access to educational infrastructure and educational goods for excluded groups such as persons with mobility difficulties, students in isolated and/or deprived areas. In this context, the objective will be reached by actions such as the expansion of the library system and the development of information technology, technology and physical science laboratories, and the reinforcement of school equipment with teaching aids and by reinforcing building facilities, constructing new school buildings in order to put a stop to the system of double shifts in the primary and secondary school system, adapting school facilities to the demands of the educational programmes and modern teaching needs, supplementing existing infrastructure and/or creating new infrastructure.

Measure 3.4. Provision of infrastructure to increase business competitiveness

Measure 3.4 accounts for 1.9% of the public expenditure of the priority axis. The objective of the measure is to provide suitable infrastructure to businesses as a means of supporting their competitiveness. Provision is made for improvements and upgrades of the industrial infrastructure in existing and new industrial areas. Specifically, provision is made for actions such as additions to and the completion of existing industrial areas, and the development of private - mixed industrial and entrepreneurial infrastructure, with a specific strategic development plan for industrial infrastructure.

Measure 3.5. Upgrading of tourist infrastructure particularly in order to support the development of special forms of thematic tourism

The objective entails the decongestion, upgrading, protection and differentiation of "saturated" tourist areas in the Region, the rehabilitation of the encumbered natural environment and the application of development priorities that will exploit the natural resources in a rational and balanced manner, by achieving a decrease in seasonal demand. This will be accomplished with the implementation of Measure 3.5, which accounts for 3.5% of the public expenditure of the priority axis. The measure includes actions for organising infrastructure and creating special facilities for thematic tourism (public investments), as an incentive to attract further private investments and to mobilise the local manpower, as well as actions for the application of scenarios for the development of "soft" tourism.          

Measure 3.6. Modernisation of infrastructure for the development of cultural activity.

Modernization of cultural infrastructure is achieved through the implementation of Measure 3.6, which accounts for 4.3% of the public expenditure of Priority Axis 3. The object of the measure is to encourage differentiation in the development of tourism in the Region, to promote sustainable and quality tourism by incorporating the promotion of the natural and cultural heritage into the development of the areas. The establishment of an integrated cultural-tourism network will promote areas in the Region. The actions that are provided for by the measure are the promotion and protection of the great archaeological sites and monuments of Central Macedonia, the creation of integrated networks of archaeological and cultural sites, the creation of cultural parks and modern cultural infrastructure, the development of modern means for the support and promotion of cultural resources, the design and renovation of museum spaces, the development and promotion of existing cultural institutions and the creation of new ones.

Measure 3.7. Provision of incentives to increase tourism enterprise competitiveness

The reinforcement, modernisation and re-orientation of local tourist SMEs and VSEs will be achieved by implementing Measure 3.7, which accounts for 2.3% of the public expenditure of the priority axis. This measure provides for the qualitative modernization of accommodation facilities (hotels, camping sites, furnished rental rooms and apartments of all categories).

Measure 3.8. Integrated urban development interventions in small-scale local zones

This objective focuses on the following areas, which are financed by means of ERDF and ESF funds: the environmental and social upgrading of urban areas by means of implementing integrated intervention plans which will encourage multi-functional development, the creation of new welfare structures and the reinforcement of new systems of public transport. More specifically, Measure 3.8 is supported by the ERDF and aims to reform deprived small scale urban zones with high levels of urban, environmental, economical and social degradation. It accounts for 6.9% of the public expenditure of Priority Axis 3. Actions to be implemented in the context of the measure include the multifunctional and ecological regeneration of local urban zones, the creation of new welfare structures, the promotion of integrated public transport networks, the improvement and extension of water waste and sewage management networks and water supply and sewerage networks, the bolstering of entrepreneurial activity (based on private participation) and the creation of small-scale cultural infrastructure.

Furthermore, Measure 3.9 provides for the implementation of support actions under the ESF in the framework of integrated urban development interventions which are funded by Measure 3.8 of the ERDF. Measure 3.9, which accounts for 3.6% of the public expenditure of the priority axis, relates to improving and increasing employment opportunities, increasing employability, social integration and strengthening of social and economic cohesion in deprived, small-scale urban areas. Actions included in the context of this measure may be support for the operation of social service centres, disadvantaged group support units, child and elderly care units, promotion of equality, implementation of integrated combined training and employment plans, in conjunction with other local interventions in the context of local employment agreements and other corresponding initiatives, increasing employment through the creation of small enterprises and subsidization, and implementing training programmes.

Hellenic Republic
The actions of the Regional Operational Programme of Central Macedonia are co-financed from national resources and from the EU Structural Funds: European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
European Union
European Commission
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