Following a long process of negotiations, the European Commission announced on 3 December that the last Operational Programme (for the region of Campania) of the Regional Policy 2014-2020 has been adopted. With this adoption, the Programmes can now officially enter the phase of implementation.
The adoption was followed by the publication of the Communication of the Commission on “Investing in jobs and growth - maximising the contribution of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF)” on 14 December. The Communication presents among other things the main results of the negotiations between the Members States and the Commission on the Partnership Agreements. In total, 454 billion EUR of the EU budget have been earmarked for the ESIFs with an additional amount of at least 183 billion EUR of national co-financing bringing the total amount to 637 billion EUR. The Communication also lists the main expected achievements, including several that could have a link with sport.
However, the actual selection of projects for ERDF and ESF funding is largely depending on the Management Authorities, the available funding, the investment priorities for the specific region and the type of region.
The EOC EU Office has followed the process of the ESIFs and in particular the possibilities for sport in the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) closely. Considering the importance of the sport sector for many elements of the European society and economy, the EOC EU Office considers it crucial that sport-related projects that contribute to the investment priorities can be financed out of the ESIFs.
On access of sport to funding of the ESIF, the EU Commission is currently also conducting a study called “Study on the Contribution of Sport to Regional Development through the Structural Funds”. This study, which is conducted by Consultants CSES and Blomeyer & Sanz, has as one of its main objectives to gather good practices of the 2007-2013 period and to analyse how sport and physical activity have been included in the new framework. The final report is expected by April 2016.