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European Commission - Statement

Commissioner Creţu in Greece: Announces creation of a Joint Working Group to make the most of European Structural and Investment Funds

21 May 2015

It has been decided today, on the occasion of the official visit in Greece of Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu, to create a Joint Working Group between the Commission and the Greek authorities to help Greece improve its implementation capacity of the European Structural and Investment Funds and seize the investments opportunities through the strengthening of administrative capacity.

EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu said: "We are committed to support Greece in its efforts to rebuild its economy and return to growth. European Structural and Investment Funds are vital to both address the pressing needs of the Greek population today and pave the way for the future prosperity of the country. We will work with Greece hand in hand to make the most out of EU funds, with the citizens' best interests at heart."

Minister for Economy, Infrastructure, Maritime Affairs and Tourism Georgios Stathakis said:"We are working full speed to ensure a smooth transition between the two programming periods and we are going to do our utmost not to lose any available resources, from the current programming period."

The country still has a significant amount of Cohesion Policy funds available under the 2007-2013 programming period until the end of the year; in order to ensure effective implementation, we decided to work together to come up with tailor-made solutions to direct investments where they are the most needed in a fast and strategic way.

This initiative comes under the mandate of the High Level Working Group led by Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis that was set at the initiative of both President Juncker and Prime Minister Tsipras.

The Joint Working Group will support Greece use effectively the remaining investments from the 2007-2013 programming period. The Joint Working Group will analyse the key factors responsible for time delays in implementation. The Commission will work closely with the country to find solutions to maximise the use of commitments under the 2007-2013 Multiannual Financial Framework.

Technical assistance will play a key role in channelling investments in a more efficient and targeted way. This Joint Working Group will also bring about valuable lessons in order for Greece to soundly use the 20.6 billion euro of European Structural and Investment Funds under the 2014-2020 programming period.


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