South-East Europe is characterised by broad biodiversity and natural resources of high environmental value.
The potential for the use of environmentally-friendly technologies and the assets for future economic and social development are the strong points of the area, but inherited environmental damage has to be addressed as well.
The programme shall facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, knowledge, the economy and information society by concrete co-operation action and visible results.
The South-East Europe area is the most diverse, heterogeneous and complex trans-national co-operation area in Europe, made up of a broad mix of countries.
On 20 December 2007 the European Commission approved the Transnational Co-operation Programme “South-East Europe” for the period 2007-2013.
This programme involves Community support for regions in 16 countries- Member States, candidate, potential candidate countries and third countries.- For 14 countries the eligible area is the whole territory of the country, namely for Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Moldova;- In 2 countries only certain regions are eligible: in Italy these eligible regions are: Lombardia, Bolzano/Bozen, Trento, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Molise, Puglia Basilicata, and in Ukraine: Cjermovestka Oblast, Ivano-Frankiviska Oblast, Zakarpatska Oblast and Odessa Oblast.
This represents a total population of 200 million people.
The total budget of the programme is € 245 million and the Community assistance through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to € 206 million.
Finally, it will foster integration by supporting balanced capacities for trans-national territorial co-operation at all to contribute specifically to the future development of South-East Europe as a place of innovation, to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship andthe knowledge economy and to enhance integration and economic relations in the co-operation area.