Regional Operational Programmes
As part of the Convergence objective, a total of seven regional operational programmes (ROP) designated for the whole of the Czech Republic, except for the Capital City of Prague, have been prepared for the 2007-2013 period.
Regional operational programmes cover a number of thematic areas with the objective of increasing the competitiveness of the regions, accelerating their development and increasing their attractiveness for investors.
Each ROP is managed independently by the Regional Council (RC) of the pertinent cohesion region.
€ 4.6 billion has been earmarked for the regional operational programmes under the Convergence objective.
What projects can be financed by the regional operational programmes?
Although each ROP is an independent document that is managed by an independent regional council and aims to respond to the needs of the pertinent region, it generally focuses on similar topics that can be summarised into the following areas:
Transport accessibility and operation of services
For example, the construction, reconstruction and modernisation of second- and third-class roads and local roads, including the repair of site-specific defects; construction of paths for motor-free traffic; and infrastructure for public transport needs – bus stations, railway stations, stops, information systems, acquisition of public transport means, construction, reconstruction and modernisation of the infrastructure of regional public airports; etc.
For example: preparation of underdeveloped areas for enterprise, housing and services; revitalisation of city centres and heritage zones; construction, reconstruction and furnishing of public facilities, buildings for cultural and leisure time, social and educational buildings and infrastructure; renovation and completion of public spaces, squares, architectural elements; removal of unused structures and buildings; elimination of environmental burdens; etc.
Regional business development
For example: reconstruction, modernisation and revitalisation of existing buildings for business, including brownfields; investment into transport and technical infrastructure of industrial zones and smaller-scale sites; support for investments improving the material and technical fit-out and conditions of companies, schools and vocational schools designated for training graduates and mastering practical skills; etc.
Development of tourism
For example: construction and reconstruction of tourist routes (footpaths, bicycle paths, horse trails, waterways, harbours or docks), including associated infrastructure and signs; reconstruction, modernisation and development of accommodation facilities expanded to include related services (sports facilities including sporting goods rental, wellness services, entertainment centres, etc.); reconstruction of cultural and technical monuments or cultural curiosities for use in tourism; development and renewal of sports grounds used primarily for tourism, including related infrastructure; modernisation, development and reconstruction of spa infrastructure and related facilities; marketing campaigns with a trans-regional impact; information and communication technology in the area of management and promotion of tourism; etc.
The above list of supported activities may vary by cohesion region; it is, therefore, important to review the terms and conditions of the ROP under which the project should be executed. In the operational programmes and the implementing documents it is also necessary to verify who is defined as a beneficiary for what type of supported activity.
However, all supported activities are co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); therefore, such projects should be investment (infrastructure) projects. More information about thematic operational programmes can be obtained from their respective managing authorities.