What is a partnership agreement?

For certain EU programmes and funds, a partnership agreement (File opens in a new tab) is prepared to confirm the strategic direction of programme planning. The partnership agreement includes programmes under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), the European Just Transition Fund (JTF), and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund (EMFAF). In Finland, partnership agreement programmes include:

  • Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021–2027 (Mainland Finland/ERDF, ESR+ and JTF)
  • Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021–2027 (Mainland Finland/ERDF, ESR+ and JTF)
  •  Finland’s EMFAF programme (EMFAF)

In addition, the partnership agreement describes any supplementation and coordination between the above programmes, as well as with other EU programmes and instruments. Other EU instruments include EU fund programmes for home affairs (the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), the Internal Security Fund (ISF), and the Border Management and Visa Policy (BMVI) instrument), the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), and the European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD).

Why must a partnership agreement be prepared and how?

The preparation of a partnership agreement is required in the general regulation on EU funds. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for coordinating the preparation of the partnership agreement. It has been prepared in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Åland authorities. In addition, other minis-tries have participated in the preparation insofar as they are responsible for the preparation of the other EU programmes and instruments referred to in the partnership agreement. The partnership agreement has been discussed by the advisory board for the cohesion policy and the Cohesion2021+ working group established for the preparation of the Innovation and Skills in Finland 2021–2027 programme.

The partnership agreement was approved nationally by the Government of Åland and the Finnish Government in October 2021. The European Commission approved the partnership agreement on 5 May 2022.