Brussels -- The European Commission has adopted the first of 28 'Partnership Agreements' that set down the strategies in EU member states and regions for European Structural and Investment Funds. Today’s agreement was signed with Denmark and will pave the way for €553 million (current prices) in total Cohesion Policy funding and €629 million for rural development to be invested in the country’s real economy. The allocation under Fisheries and Maritime Policy will be finalised and published this summer. The EU investments will boost competitiveness, tackle unemployment and growth through support to innovation, the low carbon economy and training and education. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and strive for an environmentally friendly and resource-efficient economy.
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are:
The Cohesion Fund (not applicable to Denmark)
• The European Social Fund
Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said:
'We have now adopted the first of 28 Partnership Agreements and I congratulate Denmark for their hard work and efficiency to get this solid investment plan in place today. The Partnership Agreements are vital documents to guide Member States and regions for the next 10 years. They reflect our determination that when it comes to using EU funds it can no longer be 'business as usual', some local roads here, some regional airports there. Our investments must be strategic, according to the new Cohesion Policy focusing on the real economy, on sustainable growth and investing in people. But quality not speed is the paramount aim and in the coming months we are fully dedicated to negotiating the best possible outcome for investments from the European Structural and Investment Funds in 2014-2020. Commitment is needed from both sides to ensure good quality programmes are put in place.”
On Denmark, Commissioner Hahn added: 'The agreement adopted today, sets in motion the important contribution Denmark can make to the European Union by meeting its goals of green growth for all. Denmark now has a firm base in this Partnership Agreement that covers all Structural and Investment Funds and gives strategic direction to future programmes that will enhance innovation, transform Danish SMEs into models of growth, and secure Denmark's leading role on the green economy. The ESI Funds are helping Denmark’s regions and cities to face these challenges.'
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Lázló Andor said:
'I congratulate Denmark for finalising its Partnership Agreement so quickly as a result of its intense collaboration with the Commission and I urge other Member States to follow Denmark's good example. I am very pleased that Denmark has decided to dedicate 50% of the Cohesion Policy funding under the growth and jobs objective to the European Social Fund (ESF), so as to ensure ESF-funded actions can have a significant impact towards meeting the EU2020 employment and poverty targets. The ESF will help to maximise the growth potential of each region by addressing its specific needs, focusing on entrepreneurship and job creation, cross-border mobility, inclusion through education and employment and vocational training and higher education. I am also pleased to see greater synergies between actions supported by the different Funds.'
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:
“Rural Development is a vital pillar of our Common Agricultural Policy, addressing elements relating to economic, environmental and social issues in rural areas, but in a way which allows Member States or regions to design programmes suitable for their own specific situations and priorities. The concept of Partnership Agreements is very important to ensure that national or regional authorities, when drafting their Rural Development programmes, have an approach which is coherent with plans that they are drafting for other EU structural measures in order to complement and be coordinated with such schemes where possible and thereby obtain a greater efficiency in the use of EU taxpayers’ money.”
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:
'As with all of the other funds, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is about investing in local communities to help them unlock the sort of growth and jobs which Europe needs and which the EU is committed to making a reality. We will not prescribe how every single cent should be spent; it is about letting those who know their craft, industry, and local regions best to work towards a sustainable future for their own communities – this is indeed the spirit of the new Common Fisheries Policy.'
All 28 draft Partnership Agreements have now been received by the Commission. Their adoption should follow within the next 3 months, after a process of consultation with the Commission providing observations are taken on board.
See here for the Partnership Agreement with Denmark.
MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes: MEMO/14/331