The European Regional Development Fund aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by correcting imbalances between its regions. On the programme period 2014 – 2020 the ERDF focuses its investments on several key priority areas.
Finland’s programme focuses on the following priorities:
• promoting innovative and competitive business and research environment;
• increasing labour market participation through improved employment, social inclusion
and education policies;
• reinforcing sustainable and efficient use of resources for environment friendly growth.
In 2014-2020 Finland is allocated around €1.47 billion for Cohesion Policy (ERDF and ESF) including €161.3 million for the territorial cooperation. Additional €2.38 billion will be devoted to development of the agricultural sector and rural areas from the EAFRD. The allocation for EMFF amounts to €74.4 million.
Region of South Karelia receives annually about €1.7 – 1.8 millions from the ERDF.
Concentration of funds on limited number of priorities is one of the main principles of the reformed cohesion policy. Finland concentrates the ERDF investments very strongly: 100% of the allocation is targeted at research and innovation (TO1), competitiveness of enterprises (TO3) and shift to low-carbon economy (TO4), including 24.2% for low-carbon economy.
Thematic concentration is very strong and clearly above the minimum requirements.
The share of the ESF in the allocation of ESI Funds amounts to 39.5% or €515.4 million meets the requirement of minimum share (39.5%). The whole territory of Finland belongs to the more developed regions category. Finland has received a specific allocation of €305.3 million on the basis of Northern Sparsely Populated Areas. This allocation is used in Eastern and Northern Finland. South Karelia is part of the Southern Finland Programme Area.
5% of the ERDF allocation will be invested in sustainable urban development actions implemented through Integrated Territorial Investment mainly in six biggest cities of Finland. In Mainland Finland RDP 5.3% of the EAFRD allocation will be used for Community-Led Local Development, and in Åland Islands RDP 5.5%.
More than 48.8% of the total allocation will make a contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.
European Union – Regional Policy pages
Finland: information about ERDF and ESF funding in Finland (in Finnish) : www.rakennerahastot.fi