The European Commission has adopted a "Partnership Agreement" with Hungary 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 €21.9 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding over 2014-2020 (current prices, including European Territorial Cooperation funding and the allocation for the Youth Employment Initiative). Hungary also receives €3.45 billion for rural development and €39 million for fisheries and the maritime 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:
Commenting on the adoption, Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn said: "Today we have adopted a vital, strategic investment plan that sets Hungaryon the path to jobs and growth for the next 10 years. This Partnership Agreement reflects the European Commission andHungary'sjoint determination to make the most efficient use of EU funding. In line with the reformed Cohesion Policy, the strategic feature of all our investments has to be strengthened, focusing on economic sectors where impact can be maximised, on sustainable growth and investing in people. The paramount aim is also to ensure quality programmes and implementation.”
Commissioner Hahn added: "This investment strategy builds on the important contribution Hungary is already making to help the EU meet its goals of creating sustainable long-term development of all of its less developed regions. Hungary 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, contribute to transforming Hungary's SMEs to become more competitive and internationally integrated, and boost Hungary's growing reputationin promoting research and technical development projects. The ESI Funds are helping Hungary's regions and cities to face these challenges and support local companies and people in achieving these objectives."
Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor said: "I would like to congratulate Hungary and convey my thanks to the Hungarian authorities for the cooperation in preparing this Partnership Agreement during the last couple of years. Hungary needs to make good use of EU Structural and Investment Funds in line with the Europe 2020 objectives, including the fight against poverty. EU funds should help creating an investment friendly environment, developing sustainable economic activity and building an inclusive society. In this effort a key part should be to invest in human capital through education, training, job-search support, social services and integration of disadvantaged people, so that everyone in Hungary has a good opportunity to better exploit their capabilities and skills, contribute to prosperity and benefit from it in a fair way. Over 4.7 billion euros (nearly 1500 billion HUF) will be invested from the European Social Fund in Hungary during 2014-2020 and can make a major positive difference in everyone's life if used well."
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş said: "I am delighted that we are approving the Hungarian Partnership Agreement today. Hungary is a predominantly rural country with a very important agricultural sector where having a common strategic document will highly contribute to the synergetic support of rural development. For Hungary to achieve its full potential, it is vital that the benefits of economic growth and job creation are also delivered in the countryside. I believe that EU Rural Development funding can play a key role in unlocking the potential of rural areas, and I am very pleased to see that all ESI Funds will contribute to the economic and social development of the Hungarian rural areas. I also believe that local initiatives, such as LEADER, have a great economic and social inclusion potential. Hungary is also a key area for biodiversity and I am convinced that Hungary will be able to protect it with the help of the EU funds and especially with the targeted support of the EU rural development fund."
Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki said: "European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) investment will contribute to the renewal of Hungary's fish farming infrastructure and support the development of environmentally friendly, energy efficient, and water-saving solutions. The EMFF will further help the sector develop in terms of marketing, technological development, and the establishment of a national sales chain. The EU’s rules on aquaculture are among the strictest in the world - the funding will help to ensure that aquaculture providing environmental services is adequately supported"
All Member States have now presented their Partnership Agreements to the Commission. The adoption of these agreements will follow after a process of consultation.