Schuman Associates is the leading consultancy in Brussels working on European funding and project financing. Delivering added-value and relevant content to our clients has always been a priority for us. Our experienced colleagues in Schuman local offices provide a hands-on support to local and international companies in accessing business opportunities arising from EU funding. Schuman Associates has launched its monthly ‘Country Digest’ to capture facts and other EU funding and relevant highlights. We are delighted to continue the series with Greece.
In August 2018 Greece concluded successfully a three-year stability support programme under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Through this programme, the EU provided loans of 61.9 billion euros to support consolidated reforms that strengthened the financial sector and assisted the Greek economy to tackle deep-rooted problems.
Yet, EU financial support is not limited to the ESM programme. EU funding under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) not only helps Greece to deal with structural problems in its economy, but more crucially contributes to its economic growth. EU funding is a major source of public investments in a wide range of sectors, supporting jobs and growth.
EU funds and Greece…Did you know?
- Greece has been allocated 21.3 billion euros in EU funds under ESIF for the period 2014-2020. Adding national contribution, the total budget amounts 26.2 billion euros.
- Greece ranks first among member states in absorbing EU funds with a percentage of 25%. Up to May 2018, 12.6 billion euros from ESIF funds have been invested in the Greek economy.
- 32% of the total ESIF budget is still available for allocation.
- EU funds accounted for 35.15% of national public investments for the period 2015-2017.
- Greece manages ESIF funds through 7 sectoral and 13 regional operational programmes, channeled in five priorities: support businesses and entrepreneurship, human resources development and fight unemployment, environment protection, infrastructure and networks (broadband, energy, transport) and effective public administration.
- The national and regional Research and Development Strategies for Smart Specialization define the sectors of the economy in which EU funding should be focused. Among others they include health, information and communication technologies, energy, sustainable development and transport.
- The top sectors that receive EU funding are environment protection and resource efficiency (5.58 billion euros), network infrastructures in transport and energy (3.1 billion euros) and low carbon economy (2.75 billion euros).
- The EU launched the “Jobs and Growth Plan for Greece” in July 2015, providing exceptional measures for facilitating and maximizing use of EU funds.
- The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) under the “Juncker Plan” has financed investments of 2.6 billion euros, expecting to trigger investments of 10 billion euros. EFSI projects focus in the areas of infrastructure and innovation (2.2 billion euros) and SME financing (approximately 20,000 SMEs have already been benefited).
- For the period 2021-2027 the Commission has proposed an increase of 21.7 billion euros in EU funds under ESIF (not including the European Agricultural Fund for Regional Development).
 http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/2021_2027/greece/ and data from the European Commission Open Data Portal for ESIF https://cohesiondata.ec.europa.eu/countries/GR#