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Brussels, 16 April 2007

Cohesion policy 2007-2013: Commission approves the national strategy and priorities for Denmark

Regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hübner and Employment and social affairs Commissioner Vladimír Špidla congratulated the Danish authorities on becoming the fourth Member State to reach agreement with the European Commission on the national plan and priorities for Cohesion policy 2007-2013. In their National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) the Danish authorities lay out how they intend to invest the EU funding of €510 million that they will receive over seven years to deliver growth and jobs to their regions.

Commissioners Hübner and Špidla expressed their satisfaction at the Member State's efficiency in the timely submission of this key document and having all its elements adopted, urging other countries to follow their example. The Danish authorities submitted a detailed outline of their strategy already in April 2005.

Commissioner Hübner welcomed the document stating that "The Danish strategy, especially in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship, is at the heart of the EU drive to make the European economy the most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world. Almost 92% of the investments have been earmarked for activities to take forward the growth, jobs and competitiveness agenda. "

"The Danish strategy shows a strong commitment to promoting the quality and intensity of investments in human resources," said Commissioner Špidla. "This proves once again that more and better jobs lie at the heart of the European reform agenda. With the priorities chosen by Denmark, workers will be able to better adapt to changing circumstances. The strategy will also boost employment and promote social inclusion."

Denmark's main priority for 2007-2013, as set out in the NSRF, is to make Denmark one of the most competitive and dynamic knowledge economies in the world by 2015. To achieve this vision, Denmark has identified as global objectives: creation of a world-class education system, a leading knowledge society, an innovative society, a leading entrepreneurial society.

Denmark intends to translate the broad priorities contained in the NSRF into two operational programmes. The programme on Innovation and Knowledge will receive funding from the European Regional Development Fund, and the programme on More and Better Jobs shall receive funding from the European Social Fund.

All Member States have already sent their national strategic reference frameworks (NSRFs) to the Commission which has so far approved those for Malta, Greece and Austria (December 2006, March and April 2007 respectively).

Denmark sent electronically its National Strategic Reference Framework to the European Commission on November 30, 2006. Now that negotiations have been successfully concluded on the wider framework document, the operational programmes and the indicative annual allocation from each fund will soon be adopted by the Commission. Approval of the NSRF is a legal prerequisite for adoption of the operational programmes for which negotiations are at present in the final stage. The Danish authorities are already well advanced in the development of the two programmes, and it is expected that they can be adopted within shortly as well.

In drawing up their NSRFs, all Member States must take account of the Community guidelines for 2007-2013 which place particular emphasis on innovation, research and technological development, the information society, environmental protection, renewable energy sources and creating more and better jobs. The NSRF must also tie in closely with Member States' national reform programmes which set out the measures they will implement to deliver the Lisbon jobs' and growth strategy.

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