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

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European Commission - IP/14/947   26/08/2014

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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 26 August 2014

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

The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with the Czech Republic setting down the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds throughout the country. Today’s agreement paves the way for investing €22 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding and the allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative). The Czech Republic also receives €2 billion for rural development and €31 million for the fisheries sector.

The EU investments will help tackle unemployment and boost competitiveness and economic growth through support to innovation, training and education in cities, towns and rural areas. They will also promote entrepreneurship, fight social exclusion and help to 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 the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted a vital, strategic investment plan that sets the Czech Republic on the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission and the Czech Republic's joint determination to make the most efficient use of EU funding. Our investments must be strategic, according to the new Cohesion Policy focusing on the real economy, on sustainable growth and investing in people. But quality not speed is the paramount aim and in the coming months we are fully dedicated to negotiating the best possible outcome for investments from the European Structural and Investment Funds in 2014-2020. Commitment is needed on all sides to ensure good quality programmes are put in place.”

Commissioner Hahn added: "This investment strategy builds on the important contribution the Czech Republic is already making to help the EU meet its goals of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Czech Republic now has a firm base in this Partnership Agreement that covers all Structural and Investment Funds and gives strategic direction to future programmes that will enhance innovation, transform Czech SMEs into models of growth, and secure the Czech Republic's growing reputation in sectors like energy, engineering and nano-technologies. The ESI Funds are helping Czech regions and cities to face these challenges."

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

"I congratulate the Czech Republic for finalising its Partnership Agreement as a result of its intense collaboration with the Commission. The European Social Fund (ESF) will invest over 3.4 billion (more than 92 billion CZK) in the country during 2014-20 in order to help meet the Europe 2020 Strategy targets on employment, education and poverty. The ESF will help to maximise the Czech Republic's growth potential by supporting job creation, adaptability of workers and companies to economic changes, social inclusion through education and employment, and improvements in the quality of education at all levels. I also hope that the modernisation of Czech public administration, based on a new Civil Service Act and foreseen to be supported by the Structural Funds, will proceed according to plan and soon bring tangible benefits to the citizens."

Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said:

Rural Development is a vital pillar of our Common Agricultural Policy, addressing elements relating to economic, environmental and social issues in rural areas, in a way which allows Member States or regions to design programmes suitable for their own specific situations and priorities. The rural development strategy agreed with the Czech Republic strongly emphasizes the balanced territorial development of rural communities and economies through the sustainable use of natural resources, biodiversity and climate action, and the competitiveness of the agri-food sector. All of this is in turn supported by a framework for the appropriate innovation and research."

Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said:

"In the Czech Republic, the financial support provided by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) will focus on the further development of a competitive and environmentally friendly fish farming sector. Farmed fish is local fish – so it also helps to create jobs in our local economies. The EU’s rules on aquaculture are among the strictest in the world – the funding will also help to ensure that the natural environment and resources are preserved."

All Member States have now presented their Partnership Agreements to the Commission. The adoption of these agreements will follow after a process of consultation.

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