On 20th of June European Commission approved Partnership Agreement for European Structural and Investment Funds submitted by Estonian Government. On 10th of December European Commision approved operational programme for Cohesion Policy funds.
The Partnership Agreement between the European Commission and a Member State is the basis of using five EU funds (ESF, ERDF, CF, EAFRD and EMFF). It defines the main challenges the Member State faces, funding priorities, goals, results, coordination principles between the five funds and other funding sources etc. The strategic focus throughout the Partnership Agreement is contributing to EU2020 and its national level counterpart National Reform Programme ‘Estonia 2020’ objectives with ESI funds.
Estonia will use ESI funding to contribute to the following objectives:
1. high quality and accessible education based on the needs of students and society;
2. a high employment rate and high-quality working life;
3. a knowledge-intensive and internationally competitive economy;
4. a clean and diverse natural environment and efficient use of resources; and
5. sustainable (transport, ICT) connections and mobility options, satisfying the population’s needs and supporting entrepreneurship.
Objectives and measures cofinanced from the ESI funds are proposed in compliance with the following principles:
1) focussed use of funds: the funds should be concentrated to achieve a limited number of important strategic objectives, in order to achieve significant changes, capacity of use and better coordination;
2) sustainable use of funds (i.e. positive long-term impact): planning should take into account the long-term effect of activities and implementation capacity.
ESI funds are one-off leverage to achieve significant changes in Estonia. Their use should bring about a shift in development, increasing the efficiency, effectiveness or quality of target achievement in an area, sector or industry, and leading to positive long-term impact (e.g. initiation and implementation of structural reforms and key projects).
The EU support to Estonia via Partnership Agreement conforms 4,4 bln Euros, out of which 3,53 bln are Cohesion Policy funds, 725 mln EAFRD and about 101 mln is EMFF. The amounts might be subject to change as the negotiations on the EMFF are still ongoing and if the possibility of CAP transfers is used, the amounts dedicated to agricultural and rural development may also change.
Summary of the Partnership Agreement for Estonia, 2014-2020
Operational programmes are composed on the basis of the Partnership Agreement and they define more (fund) specific objectives and results, financing plan and describe the measures to achieve the objectives. Estonia used the new possibility to compose only one operational programme for Cohesion Policy Funds (ESF, ERDF, CF) for 2014-2020 instead of three in 2007-2013 to improve coordination, efficiency and to achieve better results in using the funds. Two more operational programmes are composed for EAFRD and EMFF.
Infographic: A reformed Cohesion Policy for Europe : the main investment policy for growth and jobs