The implementation of the Partnership Agreement for the Development Framework, known in Greece as ESPA, is entering a crucial phase as Athens will have to submit its proposals for the revision of the program to the European Commission in the first half of this year.
The restructuring of the program for Greece, with the transfer of resources from projects that appear unlikely to be implemented in time – i.e. by the end of the 2014-20 funding period – is vital so as to prevent the loss of European Union funding.
Such a risk cannot be ruled out based on the data concerning the program’s implementation, as so far just a third of the ESPA resources have been absorbed. The figures Kathimerini has seen reveal that the absorption rate of ESPA funds had barely reached 35 percent for the operational program by the end of 2019, while the absorption rate for the resources allocated to regional authorities was even lower, at just under 30 percent.
Of the sum of 19.7 billion euros of subsidies available for projects in Greece, payments of less than 6.6 billion euros have been made, with close to 13.2 billion left for absorption. Based on the +3 rule, Greece will get until end-2023 to complete the subsidy project.