The European Commission today adopted the German Partnership Agreement for the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) in Germany from 2014 to 2020. This stipulates the strategy for investments worth a total of 27.5 billion euros.

State Secretary Baake said: "Germany is the second of 28 members states - after Denmark - to have its Partnership Agreement approved. This documents the great success of a process of drafting and coordination between the European Commission, the Federal Government, the Länder and the economic and social partners over more than two years. The Operational Programmes of the Länder can now be negotiated with and approved by the European Commission. Funding can be disbursed in the near future, making important contributions towards growth, competitiveness and jobs in Germany."

The sum of 27.5 billion euros will help to master major challenges in Germany and its regions. These are chiefly the continuing structural weaknesses in many of Germany's regions, demographic change, the necessary strengthening of the competitiveness and innovative capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises, tackling the skills shortage, and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The Partnership Agreement and the investment strategy contained in it for 2014-2020 will be presented by Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Regional Policy, in Berlin on 6 June 2014 at an event to launch the new programming period.