The Programme


A new programming period for Structural Funds commenced in 2007 and will end in 2013. In Italy, the development procedure for the National Programme was defined during a conference between the Italian State and the regions in February 2005

The current programming period for Structural Funds commenced in 2007 and will end in 2013.

Regulations concerning the allocation of the new Funds were approved and published in the European Union's Official Journal at the end of 2006. Each EU Member State then began to develop its own National programming documents in order to use these Funds.

The European Regional Policy is funded by:

  • The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) that finances measures improving economic and social cohesion and reducing Regional disparities by supporting the development and structural modernization of Regional economies
  • The European Social Fund (ESF) that aims to improve economic and social cohesion by increasing employment opportunities and supports policies for full employment, improved quality of work and work productivity by promoting social inclusion
  • The Cohesion Fund (CF) that aims to fight economic and social underdevelopment and hence stabilize the economy of EU Member States

With the adoption of new EC Regulations, the cohesion policy reform for 2007-2013 has introduced significant innovations. In particular the development strategy and the resources allocated to it have three main new objectives:

  • Convergence: a reduction of Regional disparities by providing support to those Regions in which GDP per person is less than 75% of the equivalent EU average
  • Regional competitiveness and employment: creation of new jobs by promoting competitiveness and making Regions more appealing to businesses and investors
  • Territorial cooperation: encourage cross-border cooperation between Countries and Regions


The EU cohesion policy for 2007-2013 is compatible with each Member State's National Strategy. This compatibility is achieved because each Member State draws up and adopts a National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) in accordance with the indications contained in Articles Nos. 27 and 28 of Regulation (EC) 1083/2006.

The Operational Programmes (OPs) originate from the NSRF, in accordance with Article No. 32 of Regulation (EC) 1083/2006. In Italy, most of the NSRF strategy will be implemented through 42 Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs). Half of these programmes are entirely financed through the ERDF the other half is financed entirely through the ESF.

In addition to the 21 ERDF ROPs and the 21 ESF ROPs, the following are also provided for: 8 National Operational Programmes (NOPs)  (seven of which relate exclusively to the Convergence areas and one to areas of Competitiveness), two Interregional Operational Programmes (IOPs)  and 14 Operational Programmes part of the "European Territorial Cooperation" objective- a total of 66 Operational Programmes: 42 funded by ERDF and 24 funded by ESF.

The 66 OPs can be grouped according to their objectives: 19 are part of the Convergence objective, 33 are part of the Regional Competitiveness and Employment objective and 14 are included in the European Territorial Cooperation objective.


Last Updated: : 08/04/2014
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