Malta will benefit from €817 million in Cohesion Policy funding in 2021-2027 to support the sustainable development of its economy as set out in the Partnership Agreement just adopted by the Commission.
Following the important achievements of Malta during the past programming periods, Cohesion Policy investments will further contribute to address the disparities in the country and make the Maltese economy more innovative and competitive. EU funds will support the country’s green transition and energy security and its digital transformation. It will improve people’s skills, employment and social inclusion.
Green transition, energy security and competitiveness
€417 million from the European Regional and Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund will contribute to make small and medium businesses become more innovative, digital and competitive, and boost a smarter and low carbon economy.
An important share of the funds will be invested in ensuring energy efficiency and energy storage capacity in the country thanks to the development of a second electricity interconnector to Italy in the form of a high-voltage cable running under the sea. This will increase electricity supply and security and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Moreover, €23.3 million from the Just Transition Fund (JTF) will be invested in electricity power supplies to help decarbonizing the Grand Harbour and Malta Freeport.
An inclusive labour market, education and healthcare
Young people and women will have better access to employment thanks to over €124.4 million under the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+). This fund will also support innovative teaching methods and learning tools, inclusive education for vulnerable groups, such as children with disabilities, and education in the green and digital transition fields.
Moreover, Malta will support active inclusion, equal opportunities and non-discrimination of disadvantaged groups, such as persons with disabilities. Food aid will also be offered to the most deprived. In addition, Malta will invest in its health systems, by providing training to workers in healthcare, social protection and care, rolling out awareness-raising campaigns on healthy lifestyles and wellbeing, and investing in health research.
€21.8 million from the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF) will foster the growth of a sustainable blue economy, improve the resilience of the fisheries sector, and facilitate the sector’s green transition by restoring and conserving aquatic biological resources and promoting sustainable aquaculture.
Members of the College said:
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “The adoption of the Partnership Agreement with Malta marks another important step in our common efforts to reduce disparities and promote more prosperous, inclusive and territorially cohesive societies in the EU. Cohesion Policy investments will stimulate the green and digital transition of Malta and contribute to reinforcing its energy security and promoting a vibrant and diversified economy through support for small and medium businesses and a more innovation led economy.”
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, added: “This Partnership Agreement will be key for Malta to reach its 2030 national social targets set in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. I welcome the strategic focus of the ESF+ investments, boosting quality education and training and addressing skills shortages. With the support of ESF+ funds, Malta will improve social inclusion and access to the labour market, especially for women, young people, and the most vulnerable.”
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevicius, said: “This Partnership Agreement will create favourable conditions for the sustainable development of fisheries, aquaculture, maritime and coastal activities in Malta. Moreover, it will contribute to the green and digital transitions of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, enhancing protection of the marine environment and biodiveristy and implementing viable solutions for decarbonisation while contributing to the ocean governance in the Central Mediterranean.”
Under Cohesion Policy, and in cooperation with the Commission, each Member State prepares a Partnership Agreement, a strategic document for investments from the Cohesion Policy funds (ERDF, ESF+, and the Cohesion Fund), the JTF and the EMFAF during the Multiannual Financial Framework.
The Partnership Agreements focus on EU priorities, laying down the strategy and investment priorities identified by each Member State. They present a list of National and Regional Programmes adapted to the needs of the country to implement the investments on the ground, including the indicative annual financial allocation for each programme.
Moreover, the Partnership Agreement reflects the Member State’s strong commitment to the coordinated use of the Cohesion Policy funds with the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and on reinforcing the administrative capacity of the entities involved in the management of funds.
The Partnership Agreement with Malta is the 21st to be adopted following those of Greece, Germany, Austria, Czechia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Portugal, Estonia, Slovakia, Italy, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia.