On 23 May 2014, the Commission adopted the Partnership Agreement with Greece, paving the way for nearly €4 billion (current prices) in European Social Fund (ESF) funding in the next seven years.
The Partnership Agreement sets down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds in the country's regions, cities and people. The EU investments will tackle unemployment, to create good-quality, sustainable jobs and will boost growth through support to innovation, the low carbon economy and training and education. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight against social exclusion and make an important contribution to an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy.
ESF funding in Greece will help the country move towards its 2020 targets for increasing employment and reducing poverty. ESF investments will support the country's economic reconstruction by supporting entrepreneurship and job creation, improving the education and vocational training systems and modernising public administration. It will also support the most vulnerable people in society by helping to improve access to public services and by increasing labour market participation.
The total ESF allocation for Greece in the period 2014 – 2020 is €3.7 billion. This amount will be invested as follows:
|Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility||€ 1 525 759 069|
|Promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination||€ 789 185 725|
|Investing in education, training and vocational training for skills and lifelong learning||€ 950 802 414|
|Enhancing institutional capacity of public authorities and stakeholders and efficient public administration||€ 281 126 070|
|Technical assistance||€ 144 120 742|
|Total||€ 3 690 994 020|
In addition, another €171.5 million shall be allocated under the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI). This new instrument is dedicated to confront the extremely high youth unemployment rates. In the 2014-2015 timeframe, this allocation will first and foremost financially support the Youth Guarantee, whose development and implementation is a key tool to support youth employment in Greece.
The Commission and Greece are now negotiating the ESF Operational Programmes (OP) for the national and the regional levels, to be adopted very soon. These OPs will be breaking down the objectives of the Partnership Agreements into investment priorities and concrete actions and will allow selecting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the individual projects according to the priorities and targets agreed with the Commission.