Under the Decision of 7 December 2007 the European Commission approved the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2007-2013. It is a culmination of many months of work on preparing the largest programme in the history of the European Union. The amount of EU funds involved in its implementation is more than € 28 billion, which constitutes approximately 42 % of all funds for the Cohesion Policy in Poland.
Within the framework of the programme, large infrastructural investments are implemented within the scope of environmental protection, transport, power industry, culture, national heritage, health care, and higher education.
The total amount of financial means allocated for implementation of the Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment 2007-2013 is EUR 37.7 billion, including EU contribution – EUR 28.3 billion and the national one – EUR 9.4 billion.
The distribution of EU funds available within Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment between separate sectors presents itself as follows:
- transport – EUR 19.6 billion
- environment – EUR 5.1 billion
- energy (power industry) – EUR 1.7 billion
- higher education – EUR 586.5 million
- culture – EUR 533.6 million
- health – EUR 395.7 million.
The programme aims at the improvement of Poland and its regions regarding investment attractiveness through the development of technical infrastructure while at the same time protecting and improving the condition of environment, health, maintaining cultural identity and developing territorial cohesion. In accordance with National Strategic Reference Framework (NRSF) approved by the European Commission on 7 May 2007, the programme constitutes one of the operational programmes which are the basic tool to achieve goals set in them using the financial means from Cohesion Fund and European Regional Development Fund. Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment is also an important instrument of implementing the Lisbon Strategy, and the expenditures for EU priority objectives amount to 67.89 % of all expenditures from EU funds within the framework of the programme.
Managing Authority of Operational Programme Infrastructure and Environment is the Minister for Regional Development, who performs his functions with the help of the Department for Coordination of Infrastructural Programmes and the Department of Support for Infrastructural Programmes in the Ministry of Regional Development. The Managing Authority will pass on the implementation of the part of its projects to Intermediate Bodies.