Final stretch in the implementation of the EU Structural Funds programming period 2014–2020
On 6 February 2020, the Government decided on the allocation of funding from the EU Structural Funds and the central government for the implementation Finland’s Structural Fund programme, Sustainable growth and jobs 2014 –2020, in the remaining programming period.
The EUR 48 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) to be allocated is unused funding from previous structural fund projects. In addition, EUR 26 million of previously unallocated ESF funding for national activities will be allocated.
The funding will be used to support sustainable growth and to promote employment. ERDF funding will focus on activities that create new jobs in research, development and innovation, and projects that promote decarbonisation. Measures taken under ESF projects will improve the availability of skilled labour and social inclusion. Players involved in projects aimed at increasing inclusion are encouraged to try out new ideas. Decisions regarding regional use of funding are made by the ELY Centres and Regional Councils.
On 6 February 2020, the Government also decided to adjust the target for certain output indicators of the Structural Funds programme 2014–2020 and its financial frameworks. The new targets and funding will be set at a realistic level based on the results seen during the current programming period. This is to ensure goal-driven and suitably motivated implementation of the programme during the remaining period.
These decisions seek full-scale implementation of the Structural Funds programming period 2014–2020, and aim to ensure that maximum amount of funding will be available to Finland from the European Commission.
The public funding of the Structural Funds programme for the 2014–2020 programming period is approximately EUR 2.6 billion, with the EU accounting for a half. At the end of 2019, 85% of the financial framework was reserved for more than 7,500 projects launched during the programming period. Payments to projects amounted to EUR 1.3 billion by the end of 2019 (total public funding). By the end of 2019, nearly 8,000 new jobs and more than 400 new companies had been created. In addition, more than 273,000 people had participated in projects promoting employment, competence and inclusion.
Overall, the implementation rate of Finland’s Structural Funds programme remains one the highest in the EU. At the end of September 2019, Finland came third after Cyprus and the Netherlands with a payment rate of 47% for the ERDF and fifth (with a payment rate of 48%) for the ESF after Luxembourg, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Germany.
Päivi Poikola, Senior Officer, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7160