Brussels 20 June 2014
Commission adopts ‘Partnership Agreements’ with Baltic States for EU Structural and Investment Funds, 2014-20
The European Commission has adopted the "Partnership Agreements" with the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds to benefit the countries' regions and people.
Today’s agreement paves the way for investing:
The EU investments will improve economic productivity in the Baltic States, promote innovation and R&D investments and contribute to the creation of a modern, sustainable and efficient transport system. They will contribute to a balanced territorial development and the creation of an environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient economy, aiming to create quality jobs and fight social exclusion. The investments will also enhance the quality of the education system and the effectiveness of public administration.
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are:
Commenting on the adoption, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso said:
I welcome the strategies of the three Baltic States for smart and sustainable growth which link the new approach to the European cohesion policy for 2014-2020 period and our Europe 2020 priorities. These EU investments will help to create lasting jobs and boost growth through support to innovation, training and education and a low carbon, resource-efficient economy.
Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted vital, strategic investment plans that will guide the Baltic States on the path of jobs and growth for the next 10 years. These Partnership Agreements reflect our joint determination to make the most efficient use of EU investments. It can no longer be a question of "business as usual". In the context of the reformed Cohesion Policy, the investments must be strategic, focusing on the real economy, on sustainable growth and investing in people. Commitment is needed on all sides to ensure good quality programmes are put in place.” "These investment strategies build on the on-going efforts of the Baltic States to tackle some of the pressing problems we are facing. Aiming to reach higher share of R&D investments, using more of renewable energy sources, fighting poverty and increasing the level of employment, especially for young people the three countries are also making important contributions to our common EU goals"
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said:
"I congratulate Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for their efforts to finalise their Partnership Agreements so promptly and thank them for their constructive co-operation with the Commission. I am very pleased that all three countries have decided to dedicate a substantial part of the Cohesion Policy funding under the growth and jobs objective to the European Social Fund (ESF) – Estonia 23,8%, Latvia 21.01 % and Lithuania 24.35%. The ESF will help to redress the social impact of the economic crisis. It will improve the countries' labour market situation by providing people with relevant skills, supporting unemployed people in their job search and helping those furthest away from the labour market to find a job. The money will lend a significant support to meeting the Europe 2020 employment and poverty targets while focussing on the specific needs of each country. Investment in people is key to achieving sustainable and inclusive growth."
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:
''Partnership Agreements are important to ensure that EAFRD support for Rural Development programmes is coherent with the other European structural and investment funds and other EU instruments. They ensure synergy and complementarity, coordination and greater efficiency in the use of the EU support. Rural Development is a vital pillar of our Common Agricultural Policy and addresses economic, environmental and social issues and territorial cohesion in rural areas according to specific needs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.”
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:
"With the reform of its Common Fisheries Policy, the EU has acted towards the fostering of environmentally sustainable, innovative and competitive fisheries and aquaculture, including marketing and processing. The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund is also the financial instrument that will promote employment and territorial cohesion by providing financial support to fishermen, fish farmers and coastal communities in the Baltic States."
The three Partnership Agreements for the Baltic States will formally be delivered by President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso to the Prime Ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in Tallinn on 21st June.
All the member states have now presented their Partnership Agreements to the Commission. The adoption of these agreements will follow after a process of consultation.
MEMO on Partnership Agreements and Operational Programmes