On Tuesday, 21 June, at the Cabinet of Ministers (the Cabinet) meeting, adjustments to the European Union’s (EU) Cohesion Policy Programme 2021-2027 were approved to officially proceed with the programme’s submission to the European Commission (EC) for approval.
The programme was conceptually supported by the government in November last year while deciding on continuing informal consultations with the EC. Accordingly, the most essential adjustments to the programme arise from consultations with the EC’s responsible departments and provide for the restructuring of transport sector investments by channelling more financing to green and sustainable transport infrastructure, as well as additional financing for the development of the deinstitutionalisation infrastructure. Adjustments were also made to the programme for it to conform to the requirements set by the EC as regards the contents and scope of the programme.
The programme provides for EU fund investments of more than EUR 4.7 billion in the next programming period and defines EU fund investment principles, the results to be achieved and areas of support.
An important part of the EU investments is expected to be shifted to improving the welfare of the population by providing appropriate training, improving their health condition and integrating them into the labour market. The EU fund support is intended for raising the capacity of healthcare institutions, promoting entrepreneurship, reducing the primary energy consumption by improving energy efficiency in the private and public housing stock, as well as for reducing air pollution and climate change adaptation. Also, significant investments are planned for improvements of the information and communication technology and transport infrastructure, which have a direct effect on the economic productivity, serve as a basis for innovations and increase the internal and external mobility of persons and goods, are sustainable and environmentally-friendly and focused on reaching the objectives of the European green deal. Various types of investments are also planned for a balanced regional development.
The programme links with the National Development Plan 2021-2027, as well as other planning documents. The defined priorities and support objectives are focused on reaching certain outputs bringing the highest return for the economic development and improvement of the quality of life of the population. The programme was developed by organising both a public consultation and public thematic discussions with the involvement of a wide range of social and cooperation partners.
As already reported, on 24 May this year the Cabinet approved and on 25 May submitted to the EC a Partnership Agreement for the EU investment fund programming period of 2021-2027, which, in accordance with EU regulation, allows to officially submit to the EC all three programmes of the Partnership Agreement – EU Cohesion Policy Programme 2021-2027 developed by the MoF, Action Programme for Fisheries Development 2021-2027 developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Welfare’s ESF+ Programme for Reducing Material Deprivation.