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Cohesion policy 2014-2020


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Commissioner Crețu marks important milestones to start the flow of EU regional investments

Corina Crețu, Commissioner for Regional Policy today announced the adoption of strategic programmes that pave the way for EU investments in hundreds of cross-border and regional projects in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The first of Europe's cross-border cooperation or INTERREG programmes – worth some €444 million, between Germany and the Netherlands will mainly invest in making the region's SMEs more innovative and helping create a greener economy in the Dutch-German border region. More generally it will help citizens and companies see the border as an opportunity instead of an obstacle.

The first of the UK's regional operational programmes unleashes an investment package worth €406 million and €1.8 billion respectively to East Wales and to West Wales and the Valleys. The investments, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will help drive research and innovation, boost the competitiveness and access to finance of small businesses, further develop energy efficiency and renewables, and support sustainable public transport systems, such as the Metro in the Cardiff Capital City Region.

These programmes are the concrete translations of the investment priorities that each Member State has chosen in the Partnership Agreements with the European Commission. The last of these strategic plans was adopted just this week with Ireland, paving the way for over €3.3 billion worth of investments in the real economy there. Each Member State has also set itself clear, transparent and measurable targets for achievement to ensure the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds across the EU.

Corina Crețu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, said: "These programmes embody the true spirit of the reformed Cohesion Policy. They are about improved and more efficient cooperation and partnership. The Germany-Netherlands programme goes well beyond our co-financing requirements with 50% match-funding from the regional partners to our ERDF. This is a 60% increase compared to the 2007-2013 period and shows the true added value of cooperation across borders".

She added: "I congratulate our Welsh partners in reaching this milestone in strategic investment planning. Wales is a model for the rest of Europe's regions in terms of 'partnership in action'. These vital investment programs will set Wales on the path to smart and green growth - connecting people, skills and jobs."

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European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Ireland on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020

The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Ireland 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 €3.357 billion in total European Structural and Investment funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Youth Employment Initiative).

The EU investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, towns and rural areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy.

Corina Crețu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, said: "Today we have adopted a vital investment plan that sets Ireland on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the Commission's and Ireland's joint determination to make the most efficient use of EU funding. Our investments must be strategic - focusing on the real economy, on sustainable growth and investing in people. This strategy builds on the important contribution Ireland is already making to help the EU meet its growth goals. This Partnership Agreement is a firm base for maximising the potential of the Structural and Investment Funds, giving strategic direction to future programmes that will enhance innovation, help Irish SMEs to grow, and boost Ireland's reputation in delivering innovation, business competitiveness, and market leadership."

More information:

MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes

Cohesion Policy and Ireland

European Commission - Ireland Partnership Agreement and Summary

Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes - State of Play

The European Commission has adopted the 28 Partnership Agreements (PA) and is now analysing draft Cohesion Policy Operational Programmes (OP) from all countries outlining their investment plans for EU Structural and Investment Funds for the 2014-2020 programming period.

The PAs and OPs (managed by DG REGIO) have come from:

  • Danmark: PA adopted 05/05 and their one OP adopted
  • Deutschland: PA adopted 22/05, all 16 OPs submitted and 6 adopted
  • Polska: PA adopted 23/05 and all 21 OPs submitted
  • Ελλάδα: PA adopted 23/05 and all 16 OPs submitted
  • Latvija:PA adopted 20/06 and their one OP adopted
  • Lietuva: PA adopted 20/06 and their one OP adopted
  • Eesti: PA adopted 20/06 and their one OP submitted
  • Κύπρος: PA adopted 20/06 and their one OP submitted
  • Slovensko: PA adopted 20/06, all five OP submitted and 3 adopted
  • Portugal: PA adopted 30/07 and all ten OPs submitted
  • România: PA adopted 06/08 and 4 OPs submitted
  • България/Bulgaria: PA adopted 07/08 and all four OPs submitted
  • France: PA adopted 08/08, all 32 OPs submitted and 8 adopted
  • Nederland: PA adopted 22/08, all four OPs submitted and one adopted
  • Česká republika: PA adopted 26/08 and all six OPs submitted
  • Magyarország: PA adopted 29/08 and all five OPs submitted
  • Suomi/Finland: PA adopted 07/10 and their one OP submitted
  • Österreich: PA adopted 17/10 and their one OP submitted
  • Sverige: PA adopted 29/10 and 10 OPs submitted
  • Malta: PA adopted 29/10 and 2 OP submitted
  • United Kingdom: PA adopted 29/10 and their six OPs submitted
  • Italia: PA adopted 29/10 and 25 OPs submitted
  • Belgien/Belgique/België: PA adopted 29/10 and 3 OPs submitted
  • Luxembourg : PA adopted 29/10 and their one OP submitted
  • España: PA adopted 30/10 and all 22 OPs submitted
  • Slovenija: PA adopted 30/10 and their one OP submitted
  • Hrvatska: PA adopted 30/10 and their one OP submitted
  • Éire/Ireland: PA  adopted 18/11 and their two OPs submitted

97% of all REGIO-led OPs are now submitted, while 21 OPs have been adopted.

The Commission has underlined that a strategic approach to the use of the funds is critical and quality is more important than speed.

The Commission will continue thoroughly analysing the Operational Programmes, sending observations, where appropriate, to Member States.

Cohesion Policy 2014-2020 : all news

European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Croatia on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020

The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Croatia 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 €8.6 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding and the allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative). Croatia also receives €2 billion for rural development and €252.6 million for the fisheries and the maritime sector.

The EU investments are aimed to boost the competitiveness, develop an environmentally friendly and a resource-efficient economy, support active employment measures and fight against social exclusion.

Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted a vital investment plan that sets Croatia on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission and Croatia'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.”

He continued: “The ERDF and Cohesion Fund in Croqtiq will be invested in research and innovation, support to entrepreneurship, e-economy, trans-European and urban transport, as well as the protection of the natural resources of the country. These investments will support the national reforms and efforts to develop a knowledge and innovation-based economy. I count on the national authorities to ensure that this comprehensive EU investment strategy has a positive impact on the economy and on the lives of Croatia’s citizens. Future programmes must translate this strategic plan into concrete actions and provide the right conditions for an efficient management and delivery of the funds on the ground".

More information:

Previous News

Overall, the reformed cohesion policy will make available up to EUR 351,8 billion[1] to invest in Europe's regions, cities and the real economy. It will be the EU's principle investment tool for delivering the Europe 2020 goals: creating growth and jobs, tackling climate change and energy dependence, and reducing poverty and social exclusion. This will be helped through targeting the European Regional Development Fund at key priorities such as support for small and medium-sized enterprises where the objective is to double support from EUR 70 to 140 billion over the 7 years. There will be stronger result-orientation and a new performance reserve in all European Structural and Investment Funds that incentivises good projects. Finally, efficiency in cohesion policy, rural development and the fisheries fund will also be linked to economic governance to encourage compliance of Member States with the EU's recommendations under the European Semester.

[1] current prices.


Press Release
Refocusing EU Cohesion Policy for Maximum Impact on Growth and Jobs: The Reform in 10 points

Infographic : A reformed Cohesion Policy for Europe : the main investment policy for growth and jobs
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Thematic Flyers

Targeting Investments on Key Growth Priorities

  • Research and Innovation
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  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)
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  • Enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
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  • Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy
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EU Regional Policy: Stay informed