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Partnership agreement with Denmark adopted


On 5 May 2014, the Commission adopted the Partnership Agreement with Denmark, setting out the strategies and investment priorities for the European Structural and Investment Funds in this country.

The agreement with Denmark will pave the way for investments under cohesion policy, fisheries and maritime, as well as rural development in the period 2014-2020. The strategy adopted will boost competitiveness and growth through support to innovation, the low-carbon economy and training and education. Investments will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and support an environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient economy.

The agreement between the Commission and Denmark aims specifically to:

  • Strengthen the labour supply through inclusion, adaptation of skills and training initiatives
  • Boost national and regional competitiveness and job creation through investments in innovation and business development; promoting entrepreneurship and fostering the agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture sectors;
  • Promote environmental protection and resource efficiency, building on Denmark’s global reputation as a leading green economy.

The European Commission provided a menu of ‘thematic objectives’ designed to help Member States and regions contribute to meeting the agreed growth goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Each country then selects investment priorities that translate those objectives into concrete actions that respond to the development needs and build on its growth potential.

Priorities for the ESF in Denmark

Denmark chose, for example, to invest in the promotion of sustainable, high-quality employment and supporting labour mobility. ESF actions will aim at boosting job creation in enterprises, contributing the 2020 target of raising the employment rate. A particular focus will be on support to entrepreneurs.

In addition, Denmark is dedicating as much as 20% of its ESF budget to social inclusion and the fight against poverty and discrimination. Actions under this objective shall help to address the fact that the number of persons living in households with low employment has increased since 2008, the lowest skilled have suffered the sharpest drop in the employment rate and that long-term unemployment has increased during the economic crisis.

Through investment in education and professional training as well as lifelong learning, Denmark aims to help more people complete vocational training or further education. A particular effort will be made through vocational schools of secondary level and other initiatives to lift people in the workforce from unskilled to skilled and from skilled to higher education.

Financial breakdown

For 2014-2020, Denmark has been allocated around € 553 million (current prices) in total cohesion policy funding.

This includes € 413 million under the 'Investment for growth and jobs' objective, of which the ESF the ESF in Denmark will represent a share of 50% with € 206.6 million. The overall amount breaks down into:

  • € 84 million for transition regions (Zealand);
  • € 329.2 millionfor more developed regions (Northern Jutland, Mid-Jutland, Southern Denmark, Capital region and Bornholm).

In addition, € 140,1 million are available for European Territorial Cooperation.

Next steps

The Commission and Denmark are now negotiating the ESF Operational Programme (OP), to be adopted very soon. This OP will be breaking down the investment priorities and objectives of the Partnership Agreements into concrete actions and will allow selecting, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the individual projects according to the priorities and targets agreed with the Commission.