Partnership Agreement (PA) 2014-2020 

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The PA (Partnership Agreement for the Development Framework) 2014-2020 constitutes the main strategic plan for growth in Greece with the contribution of significant resources originating from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) of the European Union.

The PA, through its implementation, seeks to tackle the structural weaknesses in Greece that contributed to the economic crisis, as well as other economic and social problems caused by it. Moreover, the PA 2014-2020 is called upon to help attain the national targets within the Europe 2020 Strategy. The target of the Europe 2020 Strategy is to foster growth that is:

  • smart, with more efficient investments in education, research and innovation;
  • sustainable, because of the decisive shift to a low carbon economy, and
  • inclusive, focusing especially on job creation and poverty reduction.

The PA vision of growth
"To contribute to revitalising the Greek economy through the recovery and upgrading of the productive and social fabric of Greece and the creation and maintenance of the sustainable jobs, spearheaded by outward looking, innovative and competitive entrepreneurship and on the basis of reinforcing social cohesion and the principles of sustainable development."

Financing priorities
1. Enhancing business competitiveness and extroversion, shifting to qualitative entrepreneurship spearheaded by innovation and higher domestic added value

  • Transition to high added value activities
  • Creation of a business friendly environment to attract investments
  • Capitalising on research and innovation to strengthen the competitiveness of new and existing businesses

2. Development and utilisation of human resource abilities – active social inclusion

  • Education and life-long learning
  • Development of human resources and access to employment focusing on the creation of jobs, especially for young people
  • Promotion of social inclusion and combating poverty

3. Protection of the environment – Transition to a more environmentally friendly economy

  • Protection of the environment
  • Fostering climate change adaptation and risk prevention
  • Shift to a low carbon economy

4. Development – modernisation – completion of infrastructures for economic and social growth

  • Transport networks focusing on the completion of the Trans-European Transport Networks, with vertical axes and multi-modal transport
  • Energy networks
  • Broadband networks

5. Improvement of the institutional capacity and the efficiency of public administration and local government


The National/Regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) played a key role in development planning for the 2014 – 2020 period. In the framework of these strategies, Greece and its Regions are called upon to identify those activities in which they present or are in the position to create competitive edges and on which to focus available resources and efforts in order to reap significant development results. On a national level, eight sectors have been selected to which priority will be given. They are expected to play a greater role in economic growth. These sectors are:

  • Agri-food
  • Health - medicines
  • ICT
  • Energy
  • Environment and sustainable development
  • Transport
  • Materials - construction
  • Tourism, culture, creative industries

Integrated Territorial Investments is yet another feature of the development planning for the 2014 – 2020 period. These are integrated territorial development tools for applying development strategies in regions that present specific problems or stand out because of their significant development capabilities. Combined investments can be realised in the context of Integrated Territorial Investments, enabling them to be financed by more than one Fund, aiming at comprehensively tackling problems or fully capitalising on the development capacities of a region.

The 2014-2020 PA comprises 20 Programmes, of which 7 are Sectoral and 13 Regional:

  • The Sectoral Programmes pertain to one or more sectors, with nationwide geographical scope
  • The 13 Regional Operational Programmes (ROPs), one for each Greek Region, contain actions of regional scope.

Sectoral OPs
Operational Programme "Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation" (EPAnEK)
This programme finances the actions and projects that are mainly supported by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund), as well as the ESF (European Social Fund), in order to ensure that, in tandem with investments, the needs for training human resources and administrative reform are met. The strategic objective of EPAnEK is to enhance the competitiveness and extroversion of businesses, with a shift towards high calibre entrepreneurship spearheaded by innovation and higher domestic added value. This programme signals a great shift in the new development paradigm that showcases the key role of productive, competitive and extrovert sectors, such as tourism, agri-food, as well as processing and high added value services, so as to increase the scale/size of production units, accelerate the introduction of new products/services that create a competitive edge to Greece and the individual regions and incorporate new knowledge, producing high quality products that are competitive on a global scale.

Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development Operational Programme (YMEPERAA)
This programme encompasses more than one sector and fund (ERDF and CF) and through these Funds mainly finances core transport and environment infrastructures. A part of the budget pertains to the environment and specifically the Cohesion Fund and is assigned to 13 ROPs, in order to be managed by the Regions for the implementation of mainly liquid waste management projects. The objectives of the Transport Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainable Development 2014-2020 OP with respect to transport consist of promoting the completion of the infrastructure of the core TEN-T (road, rail, ports, airports), promoting combined transport and modernization of the transport system, enhanced road safety, as well as the development of sustainable and ecological urban transport (fixed trajectory urban transport) to enhance sustainable urban mobility. With respect to the environment, it aims to protect and develop the environment, as a means to support Greece’s transition to a more environmentally friendly economy whilst at the same time fostering competitive edges across the economy in order to make it easier to attract investments and to provide opportunities in business activities in the sector of the environment.

Human Resources Development – Education and Life Long Learning Operational Programme
This programme spans many sectors and is financed by a single fund (ESF). It is the main support tool for Greece and, in synergy and complementarity with the other OPs, will contribute to economic recovery, as it includes comprehensive policies to support the creation of sustainable jobs, promote active inclusion in the labour market, including the inclusion of vulnerable social groups, improve the efficacy of the Greek educational system, improve the matching of education, training and life long learning with the labour market, with the main aim of limiting and/or eliminating the social consequences of the crisis and/or minimizing the cost of high unemployment.

Reform of the Public Sector Operational Programme
Includes actions aiming at the introduction of reforms through new technologies and IT in the Public Sector. This is a multi-sectoral and multi-fund (ERDF and ESF) programme. Public administration efficacy is Greece’s key priority, given that it affects all operating, production and development levels across the board, and comprises, at the same time, a main precondition for the effective implementation of reforms in all sectors.  The OP contributes to the national effort so that in the next few years, the Greek Public Administration will be cohesive, well coordinated, flexible, outward looking and results oriented, restoring the relationship of trust between the state and citizens and businesses, providing citizen-centric and continuously upgraded services, thus consisting one of the main pillars for the recovery of Greece.

Technical Assistance Operational Programme
The programme draws on the financing of many funds (ERDF, ESF and CF) and aims at supporting the operation and implementation of all the OPs that are financed by the Structural Funds.

Rural Development Programme (RDP) on a national level
The programme spans many sectors and draws financing from one fund (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development- EAFRD). The RDP aims at achieving integrated development and sustainable competitiveness of the agricultural sector through a transition to a strong, sustainable agri-food system and enhancement of the added value of rural areas. Approximately 30% of this programme is assigned to the Regions for management.

Fisheries and Maritime Operational Programme
This programme is under a single fund (European Maritime and Fisheries Fund - EMFF). The OP’s main objectives are to enhance the competitiveness of the aquaculture and processing sectors, the viability of the sea fisheries sector and the sustainable development of traditionally fisheries-dependent areas. The programme also addresses the need for protection and rehabilitation of the marine environment and its living resources, the control of fisheries activities, the collection of fisheries data and the improvement of knowledge on the state of the marine environment.

In the context of the Cohesion Policy, European Territorial Cooperation (ETC), comprises the main tool for strengthening territorial cooperation in the European framework, as well as with third countries and comprises one of the main options for the programming period 2014-2020. The European territorial cooperation on an EU member state level is implemented through the cross-border, transnational and interregional collaboration.  The said programmes are either bilateral or multilateral.

The 5 bilateral programmes pertain to cooperation with an equal number of countries neighbouring with Greece. Out of these countries three are EU members (Cyprus, Bulgaria and Italy) and receive financing from the ERDF, whilst the other two are candidate member states (Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and are financed by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

The bilateral European Territorial Cooperation Programmes constitute a lever for growth in the regions that participate on both sides of the borders, in creating a common European area of cooperation in the broader area of the Balkans, as well as the western and southern borders of Greece.

The multilateral Territorial Cooperation Programmes, in which Greek regions collaborate, are the following:

  • Adriatic – Ionian (transnational)
  • MED (transnational)
  • MED ENI CBC (cross-border)
  • Black Sea basin ENI CBC (cross-border)
  • INTERREG EUROPE (interregional)
  • Balkan Mediterranean (transnational)

Moreover, Greece plays an essential role in shaping and implementing the Adriatic–Ionian Macro-regional Strategy and is the leader of the Macro-region’s Blue Growth Strategy. This strategy is one of the four macro-regional strategies of Europe and will be supported in its implementation by the Adriatic-Ionian transnational programme.

Finally, the Territorial Cooperation Programmes include the URBACT and ESPON collaboration networks, as well as INTERACT, which provides technical support for the ETC programmes in the European area.

Management and control system
The effective management and implementation of the Operational Programmes and the coordination of the stakeholders in planning, managing, monitoring and implementing them are crucial factors for the successful implementation of the development strategy for the programming period 2014-2020, in line with the Management and Control System (MCS), which consists of the following:

  • Designation of the authorities/bodies, which undertake competences for management, certification, control and coordination, in accordance with Regulation (EC) 1303/2013.
  • The organisational structure and individual competences of the said authorities/bodies.
  • The Operational correlation of authorities/bodies and compliance with respect to the separation of functions.
  • Written procedures to be implemented.
  • Regulatory acts required for the designation of authorities/bodies and the implementation of the Operational Programmes.

In this context, the main principles that govern the Management and Control System 2014-2020 focus on the following:

  • Existence of common rules in the management and monitoring of the OPs in accordance with the principle of sound financial management and with the aim of better controlling potential divergences in their application and the timely adoption and application of corrective measures.

  • Mandatory electronic exchange of data between management authorities and the beneficiaries of the operations, through the Monitoring Information System (MIS), with the aim of reducing the administrative burden of the involved authorities and bodies.

  • Strengthening the electronic communication between the MIS and the information systems of the Beneficiaries and the Intermediate Bodies, as well as other General Government bodies with the aim of reducing red tape and the more efficient operation of the involved authorities and bodies.

  • Timely financing of the operations through the PA Central Account in combination with the electronic interconnection between the Information Systems of MIS, of the Programme for Public Investments and the Bank of Greece.

The MCS design took into account the architecture of the new development design, the new requirements of Regulation (ΕC) 1303/2013 for the Programming Period 2014-2020, as well as the experience from implementing the MCS 2007-2013, including the improvements carried out or deemed necessary in its context.


Last modification date: 22/02/2016

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