Greece – Operational programme 2007-13: Environment and Sustainable Development

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On 5 November 2007, the European Commission approved the operational programme 'Environment and Sustainable Development' in Greece for the period 2007-2013. This programme involves Community support through the ERDF for eight Greek regions under the 'Convergence' objective ('phasing out' regions are not included), and through the Cohesion Fund which intervenes all over the country including the 'phasing out' and 'phasing in' areas.

The total budget of the programme is EUR 2.250 million. The Community investment through the ERDF amounts to EUR 220 million and EUR 1.580 million through the Cohesion Fund.

Under the previous programming periods considerable amounts have been invested to cover the major environmental infrastructure needs in Greece. Despite that, a sizeable deficit remains. On the other hand, sustainable development presents opportunities to incorporate the environmental dimension in the design of different thematic policies in conformity with Community legislation.

The objective for 2007-2013 is not just the incorporation of the EU environmental law into national legislation, but the pursuit of a genuine convergence to the European environmental 'acquis communautaire' in order to deal with the real needs concerning the environmental protection and the development of a model leading to sustainable development.

The principal environmental interventions in Greece for the period 2007-2013 relate to integrated solid waste management, a rational use of water resources, modern waste water facilities, protection of natural resources and the efficient tackling of environmental risks (e.g. desertification, droughts, fires and floods, marine pollution). It will contribute to economic growth through a more efficient use of resources, such as re-use, recycling and recovery of waste. The programme will support interventions which, in addition to the investments in the sectors of energy and transport to be covered by other national programmes, will contribute to combating climate change.

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