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Government decision on Finland’s plan for the next Structural Funds period

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
28.11.2019 15.24 | Published in English on 2.12.2019 at 13.23
Press release

The Government has reached a decision on the operational programme for Finland under the EU’s regional and structural policy for the period 2021–2027. Decisions were taken on the number of programmes, priorities and the share of national activities in the funding.

Finland to have one Structural Fund programme

With the exception of the Åland Islands, Finland will have just one programme for the implementation of measures under both the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). The regions proposed very similar content for the programme. Special measures for sparsely populated regions in Eastern and Northern Finland will be included in the programme for the entire country. The programme secretariat serves two regions: Northern and Eastern Finland, and Southern and Western Finland.

Programme objectives support the Government’s objectives 

The strategic priorities of the new programme are:

  1. Driving sustainable growth, internationalisation, competitiveness and digitalisation in SMEs (including broadband and transport infrastructure investments in sparsely populated areas to create a more favourable business environment for SMEs)
  2. Promoting a low-carbon and green economy and mitigating climate change
  3. Building research and innovation capacity to meet the needs of businesses, and promoting RD&I networks
  4. Promoting continuous learning, encouraging professional mobility and matching labour supply and demand in the transforming world of work
  5. Promoting jobseekers’ access to employment and improving working conditions and environments
  6. Promoting the inclusion and equality of those in a vulnerable position

National and regional activities complement each other  

A maximum of eight per cent of the ERDF’s total funding and a maximum of 20 per cent of the ESF will be reserved for nationally led activities. Four per cent of the ERDF’s eight per cent share and three per cent of the ESF’s 20 per cent share is reserved for InvestEU activities.  InvestEU provides a new mechanism for SME financing.

Being nationally led, the activities are more systematic in nature and the dissemination of results will be more efficient. Although the activities are national in nature, the regions will take part in planning the content, participate in the oversight and follow-up of implementation, and implement specific actions in line with the national themes.
Regional management committees will coordinate activities regionally. Regional councils and ELY Centres are primarily responsible for deciding which projects will be carried out as part of the programme.
According to the Commission’s proposal, EU funding for Finland’s regional and structural policy will amount to approximately EUR 1.6 billion. This will be supplemented with national public funding from local and central government, and with private funding. The total funding for the period 2021-2027 is estimated to be around EUR 4 billion. Decisions on the distribution of funding between regions will be taken later.
The European Union’s regional and structural policy (cohesion policy) aims to increase the Member States’ economic and social cohesion as well as to reduce interregional development disparities. The EU channels its support to Member States through programmes prepared in the Member States and approved by the Commission. The programmes are approved for a specific period. In Finland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, in cooperation with other ministries, regions and other partners, is responsible for programme preparation.

Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 40 658 3510
Johanna Osenius, Director for Regional Development, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 937

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