By: CECÍLIA PIRES
A TOTAL of 635,800 million euros from EU funds is how much the Algarve has to spend on regional projects through the several development initiatives available, namely the Operational Programme Algarve 21 (OP Algarve21).
To better explain the concept behind the OP Algarve21 to foreign business people with companies based in the region, the British-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce (BPCC) invited Patrícia Neto, an expert from Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional (CCDRAlgarve), the region’s development commission, to an informal
meeting held on Thursday morning, April 5, at Browns Sports Club in Vilamoura.
As the Algarve region is already phasing out from the EU Structural Funds Policy, which is reflected in a decrease in the available budget, one of the most important aspects mentioned by Patrícia Neto was that investors should pay greater attention to the tenders’ calendar to apply for projects.
According to Ms Neto, “the sooner
the applicants send their projects in the better” as it is “expected that by the end of the 2009’s first trimester, a considerable parcel of the funds might be already committed to projects”. However, she underlined, “there is no point in sending projects outside of the official calendar”, which is available online, as they will not be considered.
The informative session focused on the OP Algarve 21 whose guidelines are to “establish a dynamic, competitive and committed region in the context of the knowledge society”. This means that the eligible projects must look to improve the region’s competitiveness in knowledge and technology.
The OP Algarve 21 is divided into four priorities, being the Axis 1, related with the Lisbon strategy, the one with the biggest budget, of 90 million euros (51 per cent of the total). Axis 1 aims to support the relocation of businesses from historic centres and tourist areas to proper business centres.
Projects related with environmental protection are included in Axis 2, which has an 18 million euros (10.3 per cent) budget. Recycling and innovative technologies to improve environmental preservation in the Algarve region are targeted in this priority.
The second biggest budget is dedicated to Axis 3, with 61 million euros (35 per cent) that focuses on land assessment and urban regeneration. Projects that aim to assess the economic value of the endogenous resources in areas such as the Guadiana and Arade rivers will be particularly desired.
Although with a smaller budget of six million euros (3.4 per cent), Axis 4 is to support the management, monitoring and control of the OP Algarve 21.
For more information, please visit the website, in Portuguese only, www.qren.pt or, in English http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/atlas2007/portugal/index_en.htm. For specific and technical questions, please email Patrícia Neto at [email protected] or at [email protected]
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