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European Territorial Cooperation Programme Greece-Bulgaria 2007-2013

The Greece – Bulgaria INTERREG IVA 2007-2013 Programme is an important program under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective of the Programming Period 2007 – 2013, given the recent inclusion of Bulgaria as a new Member State in the European Union in 2007. The European Territorial Cooperation objective has been proposed by the European Commission as part of its cohesion policy reform package for 2007 aiming at strengthening cooperation in order to encourage balanced, sustainable development throughout the European area.

To this scope, the present Programming Document that has been formulated for the Programme aims to meet the challenges set by the opportunities and the difficulties of the targeted area and to provide means to overcome the hurdles posed for balanced and sustainable economic and social development.

The eligible area of the programme is comprised of 7 Districts on the Greek side (Evros, Kavala, Xanthi, Rodopi, Drama, Thessaloniki and Serres) and 4 Districts on the Bulgarian side (Blagoevgrad, Smolyan, Kardjali, Haskovo), covering an area of 40.202 km2 and 2.812.236 inhabitants. The first draft of the programme was presented to the Directorate General of Regional Policy on the 9th of March.

The Programming Document has been formulated in line with Regulations No 1080/2006 and 1083/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund, all relevant EC Regulations on ERDF and Structural Funds, National Legislation, and according to the EU directive 2001/42/EC. An analytical description of the strategic scope of the Programming Document, its specific goals, priority axes, etc. is described below