Brussels, 29 October 2014
European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Sweden on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020
The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Sweden setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds throughout the country. Today’s agreement paves the way for investing €2.1 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding (from the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund) over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding and the allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative). Sweden also receives close to €1,763 million for rural development and €120 million for fisheries and the maritime sector.
The EU investments will help tackle unemployment, boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, towns, rural and coastal areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy.
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are:
-The Cohesion Fund
Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted a vital investment plan that sets Sweden on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission and Sweden's joint determination to make the most efficient use of EU funding. Our investments must be strategic, according to the new Cohesion Policy- focusing on the real economy, on sustainable growth and investing in people. But we must focus on quality not speed in the coming months, as we plan the investments from the European Structural and Investment Funds in 2014-2020. Commitment is needed on all sides to ensure good quality programmes are put in place.”
Commissioner Hahn added: "This investment strategy builds on the important contribution Sweden is already making to help the EU meet its goals of business enhancement and job creation. Sweden 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, assist Swedish SMEs to become more competitive, and contribute to ensuring Sweden's leading role in innovation. The ESI Funds are helping Sweden's regions and cities to reach these goals."
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said:
"I congratulate Sweden for finalising its Partnership Agreement. I am very pleased that Sweden has decided to use €774 million from the European Social Fund (ESF), and €44 million from the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), to ensure that ESF-funded measures can have a significant impact on meeting the Europe 2020 targets for employment and social inclusion and to fight more intensively high youth unemployment in three Swedish regions. The ESF will help to maximise the growth potential of each region by addressing its specific needs, especially for young people and immigrants (more than 70% of the ESF and YEI allocation will be invested in labour integration of people at the margins of the labour market), focusing on measures that help increase the individual's direct and long-term employability, vocational training, support to get into employment, education, cross-border mobility and more/better social inclusion through education and employment. I am also pleased to see greater synergies between measures supported by the different structural and investment funds."
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:
"Rural Development is a vital pillar of our Common Agriculture Policy addressing elements relating to economic, environmental and social issues in rural areas, but in a way which allows Member States to design programmes suitable for their own specific situation and priorities. I welcome the fact that Sweden has chosen to focus on encouraging entrepreneurship and strengthening competitiveness in rural areas, while environmental benefits are created. Sweden is also putting effort into a new concept promoting multi-fund community-led local development (CLLD) which I find particularly interesting as it also allows local communities to take ownership of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. The concept of Partnership Agreements is very important to ensure that the national authorities obtain a greater efficiency and better value in the use of EU taxpayers’ money, when drafting their programmes for Rural Development and other EU structural measures.”
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:
"When it comes to fisheries and the maritime sector, the Commission very much welcomes the Swedish approach which strikes the right balance between boosting economic activity and generating development. The Swedish plan combines the ambition to make fisheries more sustainable through actions that clearly focus on innovation yet without neglecting the real needs of local communities. I am confident that this is the right approach to 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; but let those who know their craft, industry, and regions best to work towards a sustainable future."
MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes