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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 30 October 2014

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

The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Spain 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 €28.58 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding and the allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative). Spain also receives € 8.29 billion for rural development and € 1.16 billion 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:

• The European Regional Development Fund

• The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund

• The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development

Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted a vital investment plan that sets Spain on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission and Spain'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 Spain is already making to help the EU meet its goal of sustainable long-term development in all its less developed regions. This Partnership Agreement, which covers all Structural and Investment Funds, provides a firm basis to design programmes that will boost competitiveness, enhance innovation, and provide very much needed access to finance for SMEs. The ESI Funds are helping Spain's regions and cities to face these challenges."

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said:

"I congratulate Spain on the adoption of the Partnership Agreement and thank the Spanish authorities for their good cooperation in preparing it. Spain's strategic choices for the use of the European Social Fund (ESF) will help it to address the difficulties it faces in the fields of employment, education and social inclusion. I am convinced that the almost €7,660 million from the European Social Fund and the €943 million form the Youth Employment Initiative can have a valuable leverage effect and will help Spain to get closer to the Europe 2020 employment and poverty reduction objectives. Almost €2,300 million will be invested in young people, and will support the implementation of the Youth Guarantee. Almost €2,000 million will support social cohesion measures such as the fight against discrimination and integration of the Roma population. Finally, the ESF will also support measures to combat early school leaving and help to better focus education on improving the employability of young people."

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:

"This partnership agreement with Spain is an important step towards elaborating and implementing a successful rural development policy in Spain, facilitating coordination and synergies with the other EU Funds and thereby making investments more efficient. Spain's agriculture and rural areas have great potential and many strengths, but also face considerable challenges. The new Rural development programmes will contribute to improve the competitiveness of the agro-food sector through measures such as farm restructuring, while taking into account the environmental and social sustainability of rural areas, through the promotion of job creation and investments to improve living conditions in rural areas."

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:

"Through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Spain will focus on unlocking the potential of its blue economy and on fully implementing the new Common Fisheries Policy. I am confident that this is the right approach. The EMFF will support these efforts and the challenge is now to invest in projects which can deliver growth and jobs to the local communities and regions across Spain".

More information:

MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes

Cohesion Policy and Spain

European Commission - Spain Partnership Agreement and Summary

Contacts : Shirin Wheeler (+32 460 76 65 65) – Jonathan Todd (+32 4989 94107)

Roger Waite (+32 4989 61404) – Helene Banner (+32 4607 52407)

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