“Even in the face of great uncertainty, at the stage of programming strategic documents of the EU cohesion policy, Lithuania was the third in Europe to receive the approval by the EC for the Partnership Agreement – and today the entire Investment Programme was finally approved,” noted Finance Minister Gintarė Skaistė. “Our, as Europeans, investments will be aimed at ensuring Lithuania’s future well-being: we will invest in energy security, innovation and green economy – areas that will ensure high income for people, high quality education, social and medical services for both city and regional residents, and will guarantee jobs for new generations and a dignified life for those who created the state of Lithuania”.
The EU cohesion policy is not only one of the tools to respond to the challenges that Lithuania faces, but also to ensure the long-term economic and social well-being of the Lithuanian population, and strengthen the resilience of our country’s economy. The EU cohesion policy allows for promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion, green and digital transitions and thus contributes to Lithuania’s competitive, innovative and sustainable growth, cantered on the quality of life of its citizens. In pursuit of these goals, the Ministry of Finance is starting a new EU Funds’ investment period 2021-2027.
The Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments 2021-2027 includes the investments of the European Regional Development Fund, the Cohesion Fund, the European Social Fund + planned to be targeted in the following areas:
Smarter Lithuania – competitiveness of the economy and transition to the economy with the higher added value;
Greener Lithuania – transition to clean energy, green investments, circular economy, adaptation to climate change, risk prevention and management of extreme climate events;
Better connected Lithuania – digital connectivity, cross-border and national, regional and local mobility, sustainable, advanced, safe and diverse trans-European transport network;
More socially responsible Lithuania – investments in people and systems in the fields of employment, education, health, social inclusion and cultural policies;
Lithuania closer to its citizens – sustainable and integrated development of cities and villages and local initiatives in order to respond to demographic challenges and reduce social and economic disparities;
Social innovation – activities aimed at the implementation of new ideas related to products or services, the benefits of which are provided to the society, are funded;
Digital infrastructure – development of very high capacity broadband networks in "white spots" identified according to the analysis of investment needs;
Sustainable mobility – financing of relevant measures provided for in the sustainable mobility city plans of 18 cities and resorts in Lithuania.
For the even development of the country, investments will be made in 10 regional centres of Lithuania, realising their economic potential. In this way, the benefits of investments would be felt not only by the residents of a specific city, but also the entire region.
Almost 47% of the Programme funds will be allocated to investments in innovations and green transition – sectors that will create the greatest added value for the Lithuanian economy in the long term.
30% of the Programme funds will be targeted to the strengthening of human capital, solving the challenges of social inclusion and improving achievements in the fields of education, health, culture and ensuring high employment rates in the labour market.
EUR 1.62 billion will be allocated to regions that will plan investments themselves and enable communities to agree among themselves on necessary projects that are important to the strategy and vision of that region.
Social and economic partners were included in the entire investment planning process in order to ensure investment accuracy and in accordance with the provisions of the partnership principle of the EU cohesion policy. Partners actively participated in consultations with ministries, agreeing on where and how to target investments most effectively. In total, 70 thematic consultations took place, involving around 200 representatives from different institutions, experts and stakeholders. At the same time, written consultations were also organised on the e-citizen platform.
Lithuanian companies, organisations, and institutions were impatiently waiting for the start of the EU Funds’ investments. Therefore, this year under the Programme for the European Union Funds’ Investments 2021-2027 the calls for proposals in the amount of EUR 1.1 billion will be announced in energy, transport, education, health, culture, and social areas.
A total of EUR 8 billion of the EU Funds’ investments are planned in Lithuania. After the European Commission approved a EUR 7.5 billion investment plan, the remaining share is planned from the Just Transition Fund. The priority of the Fund is currently under preparation, it is planned to be submitted to the EC in November.
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