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EU Cohesion policy: Commission adopts €21 billion Greek Partnership Agreement for 2021-2027

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The Commission has adopted the first Partnership Agreement for the 2021-2027 programming period for Greece, the first EU country to submit its strategic reference document for deploying more than €21 billion of investments for its economic, social and territorial cohesion. The Partnership Agreement lays out the strategy and investment priorities to be addressed via the Cohesion policy funds and the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF). These funds will support key EU priorities such as the green and digital transition and will contribute to develop a competitive, innovative and export-oriented growth model for the country.

Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira (pictured), said: “I am pleased to approve the Greek Partnership Agreement for 2021-2027, the first EU country to have submitted it to the Commission. This is a political contract that translates European solidarity into national priorities and investment plans aimed at making our member states future-proof, while correcting the internal disparities. The Commission is working shoulder to shoulder with all member states to make sure that the next programming period works for all regions and all citizens wherever they are. A more cohesive growth model is possible with stronger and more resilient economies and societies. It is time to make internal disparities history.”

Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius added: “I trust that the strategies and investment priorities outlined in this Partnership Agreement will help build prosperous and sustainable fishing and aquaculture in Greece and a thriving blue economy that plays a crucial role in supporting coastal communities and delivering a green transition.”

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In total, the Partnership Agreement comprises 22 programmes: 13 regional and 9 national. The 13 regional programmes (combine European Regional and Development Fund - ERDF and European Social Fund Plus) and correspond to each administrative region in Greece. Greece is strongly committed to the coordinated use of the Cohesion policy funds with the Recovery and Resilience Facility. A new Capacity Building programme will also facilitate the project preparation process and help strengthen the administrative and organisational capacity of beneficiaries and authorities.

A green and digital economy

Greece has planned significant investments - 30% of the ERDF and 55% of the Cohesion Fund - in energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions, as well as in waste and water management measures. The development of sustainable public transport will be pursued in Attica and Thessaloniki and expanded to further agglomerations throughout the country. Moreover, a new governance mechanism will allow more investments in the protection of biodiversity. Greece has also taken a strong political commitment of closing down all the lignite power plants by 2028, thus contributing significantly to the EU and national climate neutrality targets. Finally, the Partnership Agreement marks a shift away from the road investments in favour of multi-modal and more sustainable modes of transport.

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More social cohesion

Promotion of social cohesion stands high on the agenda through investments in employment, quality and inclusive education and training, green and digital skills as well as high-quality social inclusion services, in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights. The delivery of investments will be accompanied by key reforms, as well as capacity building mechanisms for beneficiaries and public administration.

A holistic approach to the fisheries, aquaculture and maritime sectors

Greece will invest in a holistic approach in the fisheries, aquaculture and maritime sectors to enable the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy, the European Green Deal, the EU Strategic Guidelines for sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture, and the EU Communication on Sustainable Blue Economy.

The Partnership Agreement specifies how the Greek fisheries, aquaculture and blue economy sectors, as well as coastal communities, will be supported. The main aim being to promote resilience and the green and digital transitions, 35% of the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund resources will be allocated to mainstreaming climate objectives.

A digital economy and society

Priority will be given to strategic investments in both infrastructure and soft measures related to digitalisation of companies and public services and the upgrade of digital skills across the population. More than 38% of the ERDF funds will support research, innovation and development of small and medium-sized enterprises, based on a new and improved national/regional smart specialisation strategy.

Background

Within the Cohesion policy, each Member State has to prepare a Partnership Agreement in cooperation with the Commission. Linked to the EU priorities, this is a reference document for programming investments from the Cohesion policy funds and the EMFAF during the Multiannual Financial Framework. It defines the strategy and investment priorities chosen by the Member State and presents a list of national and regional programmes which it aims to implement, as well as an indicative annual financial allocation for each programme.

More information

2021-2027 long-term EU budget & NextGenerationEU

Questions and Answers

Cohesion Open Data Platform

Breakdown of Cohesion policy allocations per member state

@ElisaFerreiraEC

@EUinmyRegion    

@VSinkevicius

European Commission

€7 billion for key infrastructure projects: Missing links and green transport

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A call for proposals launched under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for Transport programme is making €7 billion available for European transport infrastructure projects. The majority of projects funded under this call will help to increase the sustainability of our overall transport network, putting the EU on track to meet the European Green Deal objective of cutting transport emissions by 90% by 2050.

Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean, said: “We are massively increasing funds available for deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, to €1.5 billion. For the first time, we are also supporting projects so that our trans-European transport networks are suitable for civilian-defence dual-use and improve military mobility across the EU. Projects funded under yesterday's call will contribute to the creation of an efficient and interconnected multimodal transport system for both passengers and freight, and the development of infrastructure to support more sustainable mobility choices.”

The EU needs an efficient and interconnected multimodal transport system for both passengers and freight. This must include an affordable, high-speed rail network, abundant recharging and refuelling infrastructure for zero-emission vehicles, and increased automation for greater efficiency and safety. Further information is available online.

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European Commission

REACT-EU: € 4.7 billion to support jobs, skills and the poorest people in Italy

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The Commission has granted €4.7 billion to Italy under REACT-EU to encourage the country's response to the coronavirus crisis and contribute to a sustainable socio-economic recovery. The new funding is the result of the modification of two operational programs of the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). The Italian national ESF program ‘Active employment policies' will receive €4.5bn to support employment in the areas most affected by the pandemic.

The additional funds will increase the hiring of young people and women, allow workers to participate in training and support tailor-made services for job seekers. In addition, they will help protect jobs in small businesses in the regions of Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia.

Employment and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit said: “The European Union continues to help its citizens overcome the COVID-19 crisis. The new funding for Italy will help create jobs, especially for young people and women, in the regions most in need. Investments in skills are another priority and are essential to master the ecological and digital transitions. We are also paying special attention to the most vulnerable people in Italy by strengthening the funding of food aid."

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Cohesion and Reform Commissioner Elisa Ferreira (pictured) said: “Regions are at the heart of Europe's recovery from the pandemic. I am delighted that member states are using the Union's emergency aid to tackle the pandemic and initiate a sustainable and inclusive recovery for the long term. REACT-EU funding will help Italians in the worst-hit regions recover from the crisis and create the foundations for a modern, forward-looking economy. As part of NextGenerationEU, REACT-EU is providing additional funding of €50.6bn (at current prices) to cohesion policy programs during 2021 and 2022 to support labor market resilience, jobs, small and medium-sized businesses and low-income families."

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European Commission

NextGenerationEU: European Commission disburses €231 million in pre-financing to Slovenia

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The European Commission has disbursed €231 million to Slovenia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's grant allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan. The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Slovenia's recovery and resilience plan.

The country is set to receive €2.5 billion in total, consisting of €1.8bn in grants and €705m in loans, over the lifetime of its plan. Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to member states under NextGenerationEU.

The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800bn (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across member states. The Slovenian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies. A press release is available online.

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