Schuman Associates is the leading consultancy in Brussels working on European funding and project financing. 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. We are delighted to continue our series of “Country Digest” with Spain, where we have local presence with an office in Madrid.
Spain became a member state of the EU community in 1986 and has been since then, the biggest beneficiary (in absolute terms) of the European Cohesion Policy. Between 1989 and 2020, Spain received almost 200 billion in EU funding. Nevertheless, the EU Cohesion impact on public investment is much greater. European Structural and Investment Funds not only support financial investment but also promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. EU funding contribution to the Spanish economy has been even more crucial during the recent economic crisis, when EU investment share into the total public spending raised from 9% in 2010 to almost 27 % in 2013.
For 2014-2020, Spain has been allocated around EUR 28.6 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding. Around 43% of the ESIF funds for 2014-2020 has been already allocated to projects. More funding is still available for new projects in areas like: R&D, Environment, Employment, Energy, Improvement of Public Administration, Urban Development, etc.
Spain is also benefiting from additional EU funding. Here are some interesting facts about the Spanish performance in using Brussels managed funds:
- By the end of 2017, Spain had signed agreements for EUR 976 million for projects under the Connecting Europe Facility.
- Spain is also advancing the take up of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). As of December 2017, the overall financing volume of operations approved under EFSI amounted to EUR 5 billion.
- From 2014-2016 Spain has been the 4th beneficiary of Horizon 2020 with a share of 8.8% of the total Horizon 2020 EU contribution.
For the next EU 2021-2027 budget, the European Commission proposed an allocation of EUR 34 billion which accounts for a 5% increase in ESI funds for Spain. This makes Spain the third-biggest recipient of cohesion funds after Poland and Italy in the new budget set up. Negotiations on the final budgets are now at the level of the EU institutions and are expected to close in mid 2019. In the meantime, Spain will start to draft its national, sectoral and regional strategies as well as the proposed funding Operational Programmes that will outline how the EUR 34 billion will be spent.