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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 22 May 2014

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

The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Germany setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds in the country's regions and cities. Today’s agreement paves the way for € 19.2 billion (current prices including European Territorial Cooperation funding) in total Cohesion Policy funding and €8.3 billion for rural development to be invested in the country’s real economy. The allocation under Fisheries and Maritime Policy will be finalised and published this summer. The EU investments will boost competitiveness, tackle unemployment and growth through support to innovation, the low carbon economy and training and education. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and strive for 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, strategic investment plan that sets Germany on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This plan will help Germany strengthen its innovation capacities, respond to its regional, environmental and energy needs and help promote its entrepreneurial potential in order to compete in a globalised world. It will also contribute to Germany's continuous effort in reducing regional disparities within the country. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission and Germany's joint determination to make sure that our investments are strategic, according to the new Cohesion Policy focusing on the real economy, on sustainable growth and investing in people. But quality not speed is the paramount aim and in the coming months we are fully dedicated to negotiating the best possible outcome for investments from the European Structural and Investment Funds in 2014-2020. Commitment is needed from both sides to ensure good quality programmes are put in place.”

On Germany, Commissioner Hahn added: "This investment strategy builds on the important contribution Germany is already making to help the EU meet its goals of green growth for all. Germany now has a firm base in this Partnership Agreement that covers all Structural and Investment Funds and gives strategic direction to future programmes that will enhance innovation, transform German SMEs into models of sustainable and smart growth, and secure Germany's competitiveness in the world. The ESI Funds are helping German regions and cities live up to these challenges."

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

"I congratulate Germany for finalising its Partnership Agreement so quickly as a result of its very close collaboration with the Commission and I urge other Member States to follow Germany's good example. I am very pleased that Germany has decided to dedicate 41% of the Cohesion Policy funding under the growth and jobs objective to the European Social Fund (ESF), so as to ensure ESF-funded actions can have a significant impact on meeting the EU2020 employment and poverty targets. The ESF will help to prepare German society for the future by ensuring that untapped human resources are made available to the labour market and can contribute to economic growth."

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:

“I am delighted that we are adopting the German Partnership Agreement today. With this framework now defined, each of the Länder will have more clarity to draft their Rural Development Programmes in the coming months and submit them to the Commission for approval. Rural Development is a vital pillar of our Common Agricultural Policy, addressing elements relating to economic, environmental and social issues in rural areas, but in a way which allows Member States or regions to design programmes suitable for their own specific situations and priorities. The concept of Partnership Agreements is very important to ensure that national or regional authorities, when drafting their Rural Development programmes, have an approach which is coherent with plans that they are drafting for other EU structural measures in order to complement and be coordinated with such schemes where possible and thereby obtain a greater efficiency in the use of EU taxpayers’ money.”

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:

"Together with the other funds, the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund it will help unlock the sort of growth and jobs which we need in Europe and which we are committed to making a reality. It will finance projects in Germany to help fishermen and coastal communities adapt to the new Common Fisheries Policy. We will not prescribe how every single cent should be spent; it is about letting those who know their craft, industry, and local regions best to work towards a sustainable future for their own communities."

All Partnership Agreements have now been received by the Commission. Their adoption should follow, after a process of consultation.

More information:

Part 1 (chapter 1-2) of the Partnership Agreement with Germany

Part 2 (chapter 3-4) of the Partnership Agreement with Germany

ESIF website

MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes

Cohesion Policy and Germany

Common Agricultural Policy and Germany

Contacts : Shirin Wheeler (+32 2 296 65 65) – Jonathan Todd (+32 4989 94107)

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

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