Brexit adjustment fund makes a step forward

Photo: EPA

European Parliament adopted today its position regarding the €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve aimed at supporting countries and sectors worst affected by UK withdrawal, the EP press service reported. Talks with the Council will start immediately and MEPs intend to reach a political agreement on 17 June so that funds will be available quickly.

Under the Parliament's proposal the fund should be divided into a pre-financing tranche of €4 billion disbursed in two equal instalments in 2021 and 2022, with the remaining €1 billion paid in 2025. Its eligibility period covers costs incurred from 1 July 2019 to 31 December 2023 in preparation for the expected negative Brexit effects.

The money will be allocated using three factors: the importance of trade with the UK, the importance of fisheries in the UK exclusive economic zone and the population living in maritime regions bordering the UK. It will be focused on SMEs and self-employed, job creation, and reintegration of EU citizens returning from the UK as a consequence of Brexit.

While small-scale fisheries and local communities dependent on fishing activities in UK waters shall receive at least 7% of national allocation, financial and banking sectors are excluded from support.

“We have done everything we can to ensure this urgently-needed assistance can be disbursed quickly and without bureaucratic red tape. In this context, clear and comprehensible criteria are important to us, as this is the only way to make sure funding goes where it is actually needed,” rapporteur Pascal Arimont (EPP, BE) said.

The Brexit Adjustment Reserve, which will be set up as a special instrument outside of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) budget ceilings, was presented by the Commission on 25 December 2020. Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development adopted a draft negotiating mandate on 25 May.

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