Regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner and Employment and social affairs Commissioner Vladimír Spidla have reached agreement with Sweden on its national plan and priorities for Cohesion policy 2007-2013. In their National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), the Swedish authorities describe how they plan to invest EU funding of € 1.9 billion over seven years in line with the Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs.
Commissioner Hübner said: "The Swedish framework has a clear, strong focus on entrepreneurship and more than 80% of the investment "earmarked" for Lisbon-related expenditure. I am confident it will boost the competitiveness of Sweden's regions and make a significant contribution to jobs and growth.'
Commissioner Spidla added : "Sweden's strategy shows strong commitment to boosting investment in human resources, as well as addressing important and difficult issues such that of people on long-term sick leave. It will also create more jobs and promote social inclusion."
The Swedish NSRF sets out in broad terms how Sweden will use € 1.6 billion of EU resources over the next seven years to deliver growth and jobs within the Regional competitiveness and employment objective and € 265 million under the European territorial objective.
The national contribution that will complement the European funding is estimated at € 1.9 billion, bringing total support to € 3.8 billion over seven years (including Territorial co-operation).
The government has identified the following priorities for 2007-2013:
-Innovative environments and entrepreneurship: Developing attractive new products, to create a culture of entrepreneurship and to improve access to financing.
-Skills supply, improving labour supply: Over a million people of working age in Sweden are either outside the labour market, or working less than they would like to. The plan is to equip them with better skills to help them find jobs.
-Accessibility: Sweden needs to expand its national road and railway networks to improve accessibility in this peripheral country, and to develop access to broadband.
-Strategic cross-border cooperation: This will include linking the northernmost parts of Sweden, Norway and Finland to boost growth in a harsh climate, and giving support to the indigenous Sami people in the three countries, who traditionally live through reindeer husbandry.
Sweden plans to translate the broad priorities in its framework into eight regional operational programmes which will receive resources under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).
Some 60% of ERDF investment will focus on Research and Development, innovation, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises, while 50% of the ESF facility is intended for active and preventive measures on the labour market, including a focus on the situation of women and immigrants.
The strategy has a clear territorial dimension, putting special emphasis on urban areas, and conditions in the northernmost, very sparsely populated areas of the country.
Notes for editors
Sweden sent its National Strategic Reference Framework to the Commission in February 2007.
Each Member State prepares a National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), coherent with the Community Strategic Guidelines for 2007-2013, in the course of an ongoing dialogue with the Commission. That document defines the strategy chosen by the State and proposes a list of Operational Programmes (OPs) that it plans to implement. The adoption of all Swedish programmes is expected before the end of 2007. As of today, 18 Member States have had their NSRFs officially validated by the Commission.
The Lisbon Agenda is an action and development plan of reforms set at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000. The reforms are intended to implement the EU's strategic goal of becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth, with more, better jobs and greater social cohesion. Progress is regularly reviewed at Spring European Councils.
For more on Sweden and cohesion policy, go to:
The Swedish NSRF is available at:
Further information about European Regional Policy: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/index_en.htm
Further information about European Employment, Social affairs and Equal opportunities Policies is available at: