The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth is responsible for two EU funds, the European Regional Development Fund (Regional Fund) and the Just Transition Fund.
The Just Transition Fund is our newest fund and consists of one national programme. It will focus on industries and regions with very high carbon dioxide emissions in the country, and the designated industries are the steel industry in Norrbotten, the mineral industry on Gotland, and the metals industry in Västerbotten.
The money in the fund will help reduce emissions and tackle the challenges created by the transition. The fund started in 2021 and continues until 2030. In total, the fund is expected to include investments of about EUR 156 million, which will be matched by national co-financing.
In turn, the Regional Fund consists of nine programmes, of which eight are regional and one is national. Each programme area includes several counties.
The Regional Fund helps various stakeholders to run projects for the environment, climate, entrepreneurship, skills, cutting-edge research or access to broadband. The projects can be very different, but the goal is the same: sustainable development and employment throughout Sweden. The Regional Fund is part of the EU's Cohesion Policy.
SEK 8 billion for the Regional fund 2021-2027
During 2021-2027, projects must be co-financed with 60 percent by other stakeholders. Stakeholders who can apply for funding are legal persons, and private sector or public sector entities. Examples of organisations that often apply for funding are:
- Higher education institutions and universities
- Industry organisations
- Research institutes
Objectives and focus
During this program period, the projects will contribute to development in the following thematic areas:
Research and innovation, digitalisation and broadband, environment and climate, ensuring a highly skilled workforce, transport and travel, as well as companies and the business sector.
The Regional Fund is part of the EU's Cohesion Policy. Sweden has entered into a partnership agreement with the European Commission that describes Sweden's strategic focus with regard to the four EU funds that are included. The Regional Fund is one of these four funds, together with the Just Transition Fund, the European Marine and Fisheries Fund and the European Social Fund.
Sweden's government and the EU have agreed that the Regional Fund will work with three policy objectives during the period 2021-2027. All programme areas work towards the first two objectives. There are only two programmes in northern Sweden that work with the third policy objective. Each policy objective includes thematic areas and specific objectives.
- A smarter Europe - thanks to innovation, digitalisation, economic transition, and support for small businesses
- A greener Europe - that implements the Paris Agreement and invests in energy transition, renewable energy sources, and action on climate change
- A more interconnected Europe - with strategic sustainable transport networks.
In addition to the two funds mentioned above, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth manages the EU programme: Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak. The programme is included in the Regional Fund and is tasked with investing EUR 140 million during the period 2021-2027. The money will go to projects that are designed to solve societal challenges across borders in southern Scandinavia.