Today, the Commission adopted a decision approving 32 additional requests by Greece for technical support through the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP). The projects will be financed from Greece's voluntary transfer of €20 million from their technical assistance component under the European Structural and Investment Funds to the SRSP. The new measures will come on top of the more than 100 support projects coordinated by the Commission in Greece.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: "Nearing the end of its stability support programme, Greece is at an important juncture. It is crucial that the country continues with modernising its economy and administration and the Commission is committed to supporting these reform efforts. Reforms take time to bear fruit, but if fully implemented they can lead to robust and sustainable growth. We already see the first positive signs in Greece – economy is growing, confidence is strengthening, employment is set to increase steadily, investment started to recover, which ultimately means more and better quality jobs."
The Work Programme annexed to the decision outlines the actions that will be financed by the €20 million and sets out the priorities, objectives and expected results of the reform projects. The reforms aim to help Greece face economic and social challenges, to make the country more cohesive and competitive. The wide range of projects will contribute to boosting jobs and growth and improve the daily lives of the people in tangible ways.
The technical support provided for with today's decision will help Greece continue to reform its revenue collection, modernise its public administration at national and local levels, and enhance the quality and efficiency of its judicial system. It will also support the fight against fraud, corruption and money laundering. Further support will be deployed to help the authorities improve the investment climate, promote exports, better manage natural resources, and implement Energy Union initiatives. Greece will also benefit from support for reforms of its education and social welfare systems, and measures to enhance access to finance for small-and-medium-sized enterprises. The technical support also aims to help Greece further strengthen insolvency frameworks and the management of non-performing loans. Furthermore, support will be provided for the implementation of Greece's growth strategy.
The Commission created the Structural Reform Support Service in 2015 to support Member States in the preparation, design and implementation of institutional, structural and administrative reforms. The support provided by the SRSS to Greece encompasses over 100 projects. The Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS) manages a dedicated support programme, the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP), with a budget of €142.8 million over the years 2017-2020. The Programme entered into force in May 2017 and allows for transfer of funds from the technical assistance component under the European Structural and Investment Funds to the SRSP. The support provided through the Programme is available to all EU Member States upon their request and requires no co-financing.
As part of its proposals to deepen Europe's Economic and Monetary Union put forward in December 2017, the Commission proposed to increase the SRSP budget until 2020 by €80 million.
After 2020, the Commission proposed to continue the SRSP as part of the Reform Support Programme with a budget of €25 billion. In addition to technical support, this will also include financial support for implementation of reforms through a new Reform Delivery Tool and a dedicated Convergence Facility offering financial and technical support for non-euro area Member States wishing to join the euro area.