"Portugal has only converged economically with the European Union thanks to European funds, from 2014 to 2019," reads a joint statement from Nova SBE and EuroRegião, a YoungNetwork Group project.
Portugal, except for the Algarve, only converged economically with the European Union (EU) between 2014 and 2019 due to European funds, according to a study by Nova SBE University, in collaboration with EuroRegião.
“Portugal has only converged economically with the European Union thanks to European funds, from 2014 to 2019,” reads a joint statement from Nova SBE and EuroRegião, a YoungNetwork Group project.
According to the study “European Structural and Investment Funds (FEEI) – Impact Assessment in the different regions in Portugal”, without these funds, all regions, except for the Algarve, would have diverged from the EU.
Without these funds, there would even have been economic divergence between the regions themselves.
“The distribution of support among municipalities is concentrated, above all, in the regions where the aim is to achieve economic convergence concerning the most developed municipalities,” he said.
The Alentejo, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was the region that received most of these funds, followed by the Centre, while Lisbon and the Algarve appear at the bottom of the table.
This analysis also concluded that for every euro paid out in a municipality, Gross Value Added (GVA) increased by 0.89 euros in the year the support was granted, rising to 0.90 euros the following year, to 1.57 euros two years after the support and 2.43 euros three years later.
By region, the Azores felt the greatest impact of these funds (2%) on annual GDP growth between 2014 and 2020.
In the others, except for the Algarve and the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, it represented around 1% of annual GDP.
“Given that the Alentejo, Centre and North regions grew GDP by an average of 4% per year, this means that the impact of the ESIF was decisive for the economic growth of these regions. Without the ESIFs, these regions would have seen their GDP growth reduced by a quarter,” he indicated.
Concerning the 2014-2020 EU framework, Portugal is the seventh country in terms of the amount of support received, the 10th considering the amount received concerning GDP and the 9th concerning the implementation rate of European funds.
To carry out this study, the contributions of researchers from Universidade Nova SBE and the data made available by the Agency for Development and Cohesion (AD&C) were considered.