The minister for planning announced this Wednesday that €26bn of the EU funds were already given by the Commission, while €9bn (34%) have already been used in the projects chosen.
Portugal’s minister for planning, Nelson de Souza, said on Wednesday that of €26 billion of European Union funds already made available to the country by the European Commission, €9 billion or 34% has already been used in the projects for which it was earmarked.
De Souza was addressing a hearing of parliament’s committee on economy, innovation and public works.
The Portugal 2020 programme, as the country’s plan for the use of EU funds is called, is the result of a partnership agreement with the European Commission “in which principles and programming priorities for policy for the economic, social and territorial development of Portugal, between 2014 and 2020, are established,” he explained.
The minister also stressed that 77% of the total value has already been earmarked for various types of beneficiaries, such as companies, municipalities, social welfare institutions and associations.
In the healthcare sector, for example, 120 projects have been approved with a planned investment of €200 million, half of which is to come from EU funds. They include the inauguration of new health centres, expansion of existing facilities and equipment acquisitions, some of them of “high technological value”, according to de Souza.
During his opening address, the minister said that the figures show that Portugal is among the member states with the highest level of implementation of EU funds, whatever methodology is used to compare them.
Portugal 2020 includes 16 operational programmes, such as the Rural Development Programme, as well as territorial cooperation programmes in which Portugal participates alongside other member states.
The operational programmes for 2014 to 2020 are funded by the EU’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund and the European Social Fund.
The first competitions for funding under Portugal 2020 were opened in 2015.