This proposition (2003/ 055 – 435), which was submitted in September 2002 within the framework of the pilot
community programme « Employment  Initiatives and Social cultural matters in the regions of the European
Union that border with candidate countries » (budget line B5-3003), approved by the Directorate General of Enlargement of the European Commission in March 2003.

Target groups  :

  • Pilot region of work :
    The greater boundary area of the 2 departments of Serres (200.561 inhabitants, expanse  : 3.968 km2) and Drama (103.763 inhabitants, expanse : 3.468 km2),  bordering with Bulgaria and the Bulgarian region of  Petritch,

    – Gotse Deltchev  – Blagoevgrad.

  • Sectors: In order to manage the work in a region of employment development, a global approach to the rural area is required. It is worth mentioning that the artisans, the tradesmen and the areas of services, only present in certain projects are not present in an organized fashion. This presents a handicap for the future development of rural regions (such as ours) and a weakness for a new agricultural orientation that foresees the co-operation of non-agrarians in the speculation of this agricultural world, provokes the «hibernation» of dozens of possible professions, hundreds of prospective small enterprise activities and a variety of surfacing
    proximity services for the citizens

  • Beneficiaries: individuals (men, women, handicapped), local enterprises (the directors) and the unfavourable border regions (local authorities) that constitute their competivity levels and who will be helped by the project in order to face the economic and social changes resulting from the enlargement into Bulgaria.

Regions : Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia & Thrace.

Description of the project :

Realization of a Local Intervention for the Future of Employment and Social cultural development in our border region, in order to reinforce its competitiveness and its economic sector that will be impacted by the enlargement of Europe into Bulgaria. In particular, we commence as a rule with 3 elements or 3 « common factors » : the individual, the local enterprise and our unfavourable border region (the 2 Departments of Serres and Drama which border with Bulgaria). The said factors will be accompanied by : equal opportunities between men and women, the development of proximity financing, the cross border mobility of work, cross border activities of cross cultural understanding with Bulgaria and with the contribution of Information Technology and Communication (ITC). Covering the Communication of the European Union (437 final) in relation to the impact of the enlargement into areas which border with candidate countries (Bulgaria in this case) but also with the 4 pillars of the European strategy for employment as well as the Greek National Action Project for Employment 2002.

Budget :

Total cost of theproject

1.231.046,63 €

Contribution approved by the European Commission


Amount of partners’ contribution to the project


Amount of the contribution approved in % of the total cost of the project

80 %

Objectives of the project :

To reinforce the competitiveness of the Departments of Serres and Drama and their  economic sectors (general objective) that are in danger of being affected negatively by the enlargement into Bulgaria and by the free mobility of Bulgarian workers and employees (40% cheaper than their Greek counterparts) already representing 6,7% of immigrants working in Greece; strengthening and socio-economic incorporation of the said area with the neighbouring region of Bulgaria   (specific objective). Why ? To lighten the burden of the enlargement and to make the most of the opportunities being offered.

Principal activities of the project :

How and by what means will our objectives be achieved ? By the application of a Local Intervention for the Future of Employment and Socio-Cultural Development of this Euro-zone (ensemble of cohesive activities). The Local approach (medium) already has a recognized place and fully participates in the resolution of problems of competivity, of migration, of unemployment, local fears and anxieties and also social cultural difficulties; particularly in border regions «that are overlooked on average by the E.U. in the fields of infrastructure  and economic reconstruction”. This is particularly the case in all the Greek border regions (including our own) that are considered by the Communication 437/2001 of the E.U. “the least favourable”, “presenting also a relatively high percent of employment in the primary sector”. Thus our zone has low competitiveness, is already in a critical situation which is at risk of being considerably aggravated : by the revision of the Common Agricultural Policy (C.A.P.) as well as by the reform of the Common Fishing Policy (C.F.P.) that approach and supply an economic decline and an evident local anxiety of the negative impact of the enlargement into Bulgaria.

The expected results of the project :

a) Improvement of the channels of information for the local public, to inform the local population and to develop their knowledge for the economic and social changes as well as for the positive impacts of the free mobility of persons on the local economy and culture, impacts of a strategic cross border co-operation with Bulgaria in an enlarged Europe.

b) Incorporation of today’s misinterpreted vocational training parameter by the use of ITC : To augment the employability of workers and employees, and as a motivating lever of incorporation for the unemployed and his return to the job market.

c) Adaptation of the accompaniment of the structures of formation of the social groups, affected by the enlargement (adaptability of the individuals).

d) Putting in place new sectors (in hibernation) of business development for men and women (equal opportunities – gender dimension).

e) Development of new business models (promotion of a business spirit).

f) Development of new tools corresponding to the consequent change of course in the main outlook of local businesses in relation to the vocational training and the credit organizations (adaptability of businesses).

g) Formation of a new businessman and business profile in the face of the rapid advancement of the market and the enlargement.

h) Publication and multiplication of the results of our project and their integration into the applied politics at national and community level for the consolidation of peace and prevention of conflict.