The metropolitan area of Opole as the Intermediary Institution in the management of EU funds

The Opole Agglomeration was established by an agreement concluded in September 2012. The establishment consisted at that time of 20 autonomous municipal governments focused on the functional area of Opole. Among the municipalities cooperating with each other within the framework of the urban agglomeration the town of Tułowice joined later on.

In this establishment the Opole Agglomeration functioned for more than a year. During this time, the specified fields and forms of cooperation were created and some work teams settled to deal with the key issues of the partners. Some works started on the strategy and development of the Opole Agglomeration and other schedules concerning the key areas of action: the economy, the transport and the development of ICT networks, etc.

Today the area of the Opole Agglomeration is a spatial structure of an area of 2370 km2  with 337 400 inhabitants. It covers the area of 21 municipalities that combine together strong functional, economic and social ties. These municipalities have decided that for the further development there is a need for a greater integration and coordination of activities: instead of competing with each other, they have declared their will to perform the common tasks.  Some good examples of this act are the water and wastewater infrastructure expansion projects, the successive  construction of  the collective  transport system and the joint actions in the educational and cultural area.


Why therefore the association was established and what is the difference between these two concepts: the Opole Agglomeration and the Opole Agglomeration Trust?

With the increase in the number and complexity of the tasks, the formula of the agreement turned out to be insufficient. The partners decided to establish an association to which the tasks that had been set out in the agreement from 2012 were then entrusted, as well as some new features related to the implementation of integrated projects, resulting from the former strategy development.

On the management field of EU funds now a brand new item appears. In the current schedule period, the Opole Agglomeration Trust also known as the Intermediate Body – next to the Regional Job Centre and the Opole Center of Economic  Development – will participate in the distribution of EU funds. And strictly speaking, the pool of the funds destined to the development of the agglomeration areas. This means the direct influence on the directions and the manner of distribution of the available financial resources, to which so far the agglomeration municipalities had not had any access. This is consistent with the objectives of the EU urban policy that grants currently much more prerogatives as to the management of European funds.

In “the regional operational program for the years 2014-2020”   the areas were indicated which would be carried out by the Opole Agglomeration Trust as the Intermediary Institution in the European funds management system in our province. It will be dealing with the development of a low-carbon economy,  preservation  and protection of the environment. It will also be supporting the activities  leading to an increase in the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises in the metropolitan area, including the preparation of investment areas. It will be promoting  an efficient use of the resources. And finally, it will be also carrying out actions focused on skills and lifelong learning. The implemented projects will cover all stages of the educational path; from the pre-primary education to the respective levels of education and training.

The Agglomeration Opole Trust will be carrying out the tasks related to the selection of projects for funding, as well as other tasks related to the preparation and implementation of projects, communication and promotional  activities and the evaluation of the program. Its catalog will determine soon the agreement concluded between the Province Government of Opole and the Agglomeration Opole Trust.

The projects will be implemented as the formula of integrated territorial investment (ITI), co-financed in the framework of the RPO WO and the national programs. In the regional program  the sum of 71.4 million euro (about 307 million polish zlotych) was selected, which together with the own contribution of the beneficiaries of the project will be intended for further the development of  the Opole Agglomeration.