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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 23 May 2014

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

The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Poland setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds in the country's regions, cities and people. Today’s agreement paves the way for investing €77.6 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (in current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding), which is the biggest national allocation among the EU’s 28 Member States. Poland also receives €8.6 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 help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help 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 today's adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted a vital, strategic investment plan that sets Poland on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission and Poland’s joint determination to make the most efficient use of EU investments and bring about a step change in Poland’s economy. It can no longer be a question of "business as usual". The use of investments for 2014-2020 is highly strategic, according to the new Cohesion Policy- aimed at the real economy, sustainable growth and investing in people."

Commissioner Hahn added: "Since Poland's accession to the European Union, 10 years ago, the European Structural and Investment Funds have spurred substantial development across the country and played a key role to ensure growth during the years of crisis. They have helped to create more than 43 000 new jobs. More than 3.2 million people enjoy better urban transport, hundreds of thousands now have clean water and nearly 6000 km of roads have been modernised or built to better connect the country. Now for 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds will build on that success. Investments under Cohesion Policy will prove a powerful lever to support research and innovation, SMEs and extending broadband to every household and enterprise. This will boost Poland’s competitiveness and will create substantial new quality employment. With a new focus in EU Cohesion Policy on support for energy efficiency and renewables, the plan agreed today will not only help Poland reach its national growth and jobs targets but also to meet its climate change obligations. Plans to substantially upgrade the electricity grids will mean less energy dependency as well. Sustainable urban transport and railways will be a focus of the investments to connect and transform Poland’s cities and enable higher quality of life and lower emissions. "

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

"Poland will be the biggest beneficiary of the European Social Fund in 2014-2020, with an allocation of over 13 billion euros. Stepping up investment in people is crucial for continued improvement in Poland's employment rate and productivity, and thus for sustained competitiveness and growth. Moreover, it is important to ensure that every person is offered good opportunities in life and gets support to develop and fulfil her or his potential. ESF funding will help Poland to implement the Youth Guarantee, modernise education and training in line with labour market needs and enhance access to good-quality childcare and pre-school education to enable women to get back into the labour market. The Social Fund will also support social inclusion of vulnerable groups and help to further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public administration. Many of these challenges are the subject of the EU's Country Specific Recommendations to Poland and I am pleased with the good cooperation we have enjoyed with the Polish authorities so far in preparing to use the ESF to tackle them."

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:

"With the adoption of the partnership agreement we have achieved in important step in creating the strategic framework for a successful implementation of Rural Development Policy in Poland, building on the success of the last 10 years. We expect that the improved coordination between the Funds will lead to an increased efficiency and synergy in the implementation of programmes and more value for money for the invested EU funds. Poland's rural areas have a large potential and many strengths but are faced with huge challenges. The Polish rural development programme is one of the largest in the EU and provides for many opportunities for farmers and rural areas to address those challenges. I am confident that Poland will propose an ambitious rural development plan which will allow unlocking the potential of its rural areas."

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, said:

"Poland's Partnership Agreement is about investing in the sort of sustainable growth and new jobs that Europe needs and which we are committed to making a reality. The EMFF, in parallel with the other structural funds, seeks to create the conditions for Polish businesses, fishermen, and local communities to unlock their own potential and help make the EU more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. I now look forward to seeing the results of these projects on the ground."

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

More information:

Link to Partnership Agreement

Summary of the Partnership Agreement available on the ESIF website

MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes

Cohesion Policy and Poland

Common Agricultural Policy and Poland

Contacts :

Shirin Wheeler (+32 2 296 65 65) - (mobile: +32 460766565)

Annemarie Huber (+32 2 299 33 10) - (mobile: +32 460 793 310)

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