In what is expected to have a transformational effect on the country, the new National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF, or ESPA in Greek) for 2021-27 will amount to 26.1 billion euros, envisaging an increase in the funds that will be allocated to the 13 regions of the country to the tune of €2.2 billion euros compared to the previous period.
The approval of the NSRF and the signing of the cooperation framework with the European Commission is expected by the end of the month, and, according to the Development Ministry’s planning, it will be activated by the fall. Alluding to its transformative prospects, Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Tsakiris said it will be a pillar of development planning for the next six years, adapted to European guidelines and the National Reform Program.
The €26.1 billion, which includes €5.3 billion euros of national participation, are in addition to the Recovery Fund which will be the main engine of growth and development.
Apart from the € 2.2 billion increase in funding to be managed by the country’s 13 regions – from €5.9 billion to €8.1 billion – the new NSRF also includes a separate program with enhanced resources for digital transformation, civil protection, equitable transition, the environment, climate change and energy, with new management principles, as well as a new competitiveness program with business support actions.
More specifically, the competitiveness program is the second largest, with total resources amounting to €3.9 billion euros, while as in the previous NSRF, the largest program is that of upgrading human resources, with total funds of approximately €4.2 billion.
On a European level, the main policy objectives of the new NSRF are a “smarter” Europe, with a goal of allocating 20% of resources to boost innovative entrepreneurship, strategic investment in the tourism ecosystem, digital transformation and high-speed broadband connectivity.
A greener Europe is a fundamental goal, with the allocation of 27% of total resources. Another aim is to interconnect Europe, with the allocation of 8% of total resources for road, rail and maritime purposes and investment projects in air traffic safety management systems.
Finally, 30% of total resources are earmarked to increase employment, reduce inequalities and strengthen education, social solidarity structures and health coverage.