Bulgaria, Sweden to receive extra €133.4m EU money to tackle impact of coronavirus crisis

This funding will support distance-learning initiatives, SMEs in tourism and hospitality branches

Photo: EU Elisa Ferreira.

With modification of three operational programmes under REACT-EU, the Commission has approved to provide extra €75.9m to Bulgaria and €57.5m to Sweden to help tackle the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, commented that the coronavirus has put the social fabric to the test and has hit the most vulnerable people the hardest. The EU is showing solidarity by supporting the provision of aid in these difficult times and promoting social inclusion, he added.

Stating that the approved decisions are result of good policy measures, EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, explained that they would provide much needed investment resources for the post-coronavirus crisis move to a green and digital recovery.

The Bulgarian programme for the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived will receive additional €19.9m in 2021 to provide daily warm meals to 50,000 people from vulnerable groups living in poverty. In addition, the Bulgarian programme ‘Science and Education for Smart Growth’, co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be topped up with €56m to support distance learning. At least 10% of students and teachers will receive laptops or tablets and 30% of teachers will receive training in online teaching.

In Sweden, the Commission has approved the modification of an operational programme that will increase the funding available for investments by nearly €57.5m. With co-financing by the ERDF will be supported the sustainable green and digital transition of the Swedish SMEs that were most negatively impacted by the crisis, such as from the tourism and hospitality sectors.

REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides €50.5bn additional funding over the course of 2021 and 2022 to programmes under the ERDF, the ESF and the FEAD.

 

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