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European Commission - Press release

€405 billion invested in Europe's real economy under the European Structural and Investment Funds

Brussels, 19 December 2018

A report published today shows the main results achieved under the five European Structural and Investment Funds, halfway through the 2014-2020 EU budget period.

By October 2018, nearly two-thirds of the European Structural and Investment Funds' budget for 2014-2020 had been committed to concrete projects. By end of 2017, 1 million businesses, including 74.000 start-ups, had received support to expand, innovate, launch new products and create jobs. Overall, 1.7 million investment projects have been selected for EU support across Europe, in addition to 2.7 million beneficiaries under rural development programmes. 

Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "This report shows that the European Structural and Investment Funds are helping us reach our EU-wide goals of growth and jobs in key areas such as research and innovation as well as transition towards low-carbon, circular economy. The progress made clearly shows the added value of structural funds for businesses and citizens alike." 

Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu said: "Cohesion policy is delivering. The figures speak for themselves: the implementation of the programmes is continuing at cruising speed, halfway into the 2014-2020 budget period. Besides these impressive numbers are the stories of millions of Europeans whose lives are changing for the better thanks to EU investments. This is a solid argument for a strong Cohesion Policy after 2020." 

All over Europe the European Structural and Investment Funds have contributed to healing the scars of the economic and financial crisis. By end of 2017, 15.3 million people – double the figure from last year – have received support in finding a job or developing new skills. 42.5 million citizens will now have access to better health services. 

In line with the EU's commitments under the Paris Agreement, the European Structural and Investment Funds are supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy; 330.000 households are already benefitting from EU-funded energy efficiency renovation works and more than 3 terawatt/hours of energy, the equivalent to burning around 370.000 tons of coal, are to be saved thanks to EU-funded energy efficiency improvements in public buildings. 

The Cohesion Open Data platform was updated today to show the latest results of the European Structural and Investment Funds programmes. 

Background 

The European Structural and Investment Funds are investing €647 billion in the EU over the 2014-2020 period, with an EU contribution of €460 billion. 

Their objective is to foster lasting socio-economic convergence, resilience and territorial cohesion. The Funds are the largest source of EU support for key areas requiring investments under the political priorities of the Juncker Commission. 

By supporting job creation and growth, investment in the Digital Single Market and the Energy Union, by strengthening the Single Market and the EU's economic governance, these investments respond to the needs of the real economy and support structural change and reforms identified through the European Semester process. 

This report provides the third annual overview of the implementation of the 531 national and regional programmes based on the annual programme reports received in mid-2018. 

More information 

Factsheet – the European Structural and Investment Funds at work

The 2018 summary report covering implementation of European Structural and Investment Funds programmes in 2014-2017

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IP/18/6841

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