Brussels, 29 October 2014
European Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreement’ with Malta on using EU Structural and Investment Funds for growth and jobs in 2014-2020
The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Malta 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 € 729 million in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including € 17 million for European Territorial Cooperation funding and € 3.9 million for the FEAD allocation). Malta also receives € 97.3 million for rural development and € 22.6 million for fisheries and the maritime sector.
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.
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are:
Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted a vital investment plan that sets Malta on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission and Malta'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 Malta is already making to help the EU meet its goals of sustainable smart and inclusive growth. This Partnership Agreement covers all Structural and Investment Funds and gives strategic direction to future programmes that will enhance innovation, transform Maltese SMEs into models of growth, and help Malta to achieve its EU 2020 sustainable targets. The ESI Funds are helping Malta to face these challenges."
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said:
"I congratulate Malta for its efforts to finalise the Partnership Agreement and thank the Maltese authorities for their constructive co-operation with the Commission. In the 2014-20 period, €1.05 million will be available from the European Social Fund to help Malta to increase employment and reduce poverty in line with the Europe 2020 targets. 30% of this funding will be dedicated to social inclusion and the fight against poverty. Other key priorities selected by Malta for ESF are to help women, older and younger people to enter and remain in the labour market and improve their skills; to improve the labour-market relevance of vocational education and training; and to improve the efficiency and quality in public administration. All of these will be valuable 'social investments', targeted at Malta's key employment and social challenges, addressed also by the EU's country-specific recommendations."
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:
"I am delighted that we are approving the Maltese Partnership Agreement today. Malta is a small island state in a very specific situation. Its agricultural sector and rural areas have an important potential, but at the same time they are facing significant challenges. The Partnership Agreement recognizes these challenges and the way in which EU Rural Development programmes, in synergy with the efforts from other EU funding, can play a vital role in helping the farming and rural community to address them. The Partnership Agreement paves the way to assist the necessary restructuring process of the Maltese agricultural and food-processing industry in order for them to remain competitive, qualitative and sustainable within a globalised context. At the same time, the rural development fund will also give an important impetus into the development of local initiatives to boost the rural economy and the protection and preservation of Malta's natural resources. In this context, biodiversity, improving water and soil management as well as energy efficiency are high on the agenda."
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:
"The funding by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in Malta will focus on sustainable development and innovation, as well as on reducing the impact of fishing on the marine environment. It will support the aquaculture sector and will be used for improving the knowledge of the marine environment. We will not prescribe how every single cent should be spent; it is about letting those in Malta who know their craft, industry, and local regions best, to work towards a sustainable future for their own communities.”
MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes