Slovakia will receive €12.8 billion for the period 2021-2027 for Cohesion Policy investments to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion. Today’s adoption of the Partnership Agreement between Slovakia and the Commission will also help implementing key EU priorities such as the green and digital transitions and social fairness.
Green transition and less energy dependence
€4.2 billion from the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund will help Slovakia achieve its climate targets and reduce its energy dependence from Russia. It will increase Slovakia’s share of renewable energy sources and reduce the final energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in public buildings.
Important investments will also be made in the areas of reconstruction and the upgrade of the railway network.
€459 million under the Just Transition Fund (JTF) will alleviate the socio-economic costs of the energy transition by supporting the creation of new jobs, training and investments in green technologies, and in making the affected regions more attractive for young people.
Boosting the digital transition and the economic competitiveness
€1.9 billion will be earmarked to foster digitalization, enhance research and innovation capacities and boost the competitiveness of small and medium businesses. A special focus is also put on strengthening the cooperation between academic, private and business sectors.
Jobs of the future: A more digital-friendly labour market open to all
€3.2 billion from the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) will support the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Around €680 million, will be invested to improve the living conditions of the marginalised Roma communities in Slovakia and contribute to inclusive education and social services across all communities.
€203 million will help workers to up and re-skill thereby allowing them to navigate the ever-changing needs of today’s labour market.
The Partnership Agreement will also focus on children and young people with €280 million to implement the Youth Guarantee and €318 million will support the European Child Guarantee.
Sustainable aquaculture sector
€15 million from the European Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) will allow Slovakia to build a resilient, sustainable and decarbonized aquaculture sector, in line with the EU Strategic guidelines for a more sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture for the period 2021 to 2030, as well as to boost the digital transition of the sector, including the data collection and control activities to ensure the improved traceability of aquaculture products.
Members of the College said:
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “The Partnership Agreement sets the way for Slovakia to tackle its most important challenges, including the reduction of dependence on Russian fossil fuels, the recovery from the Covid crisis and the reduction of internal regional disparities. I congratulate Slovakia for this milestone and look forward to the finalisation of the programme Slovakia, so that Cohesion Policy can start new investments that will ensure a more competitive, green and fair Slovakia”.
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, added: ”I welcome Slovakia’s initiative to help equip workers with the right skills, develop social services and improve the living conditions of those in need, in particular, marginalised Roma communities. I am also particularly pleased that the Partnership Agreement opens the way to a new generation of programmes to invest in children and young people in line with the European Child Guarantee and the Youth Guarantee.”
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “This Partnership Agreement will allow Slovakia to build a more digitalised and sustainable economy, promoting the transition to greener, more circular and environmentally conscious business practices. It will also contribute to developing in Slovakia a resilient, sustainable, innovative and low-carbon aquaculture sector, as well as to boost its digital transition.”
The Partnership Agreement covers the Cohesion Policy funds (ERDF; ESF+, the Cohesion Fund) including the JTF and the EMFAF and paves the way for the implementation of its investments on the ground.
It covers 2 national programmes and 11 INTERREG programmes (concerning territorial cooperation). It also establishes the eligibility and implementation of the JTF in the areas most negatively impacted by the climate transition.
Moreover, the Partnership Agreement reflects Slovakia’s strong commitment to the coordinated use of the Cohesion Policy funds with the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
Under Cohesion Policy, and in cooperation with the Commission, each Member State prepares a Partnership Agreement, a strategic document for programming investments from the Cohesion Policy funds and the EMFAF during the Multiannual Financial Framework. It focuses on EU priorities, laying down the strategy and investment priorities identified by the Member State, and it presents a list of national and regional programmes for implementation on the ground, including the indicative annual financial allocation for each programme.
The 2021-2027 Partnership Agreement with Slovakia is the 16th to be adopted following those of Greece, Germany, Austria, Czechia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Portugal and Estonia.