REACT-EU to help foster Covid-19 crisis repair

Projects started as of 1 February this year will be funded retroactively

Photo: EP Andrey Novakov.

On Wednesday, the Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on deploying additional EU funds to mitigate the immediate effects of the Covid-19 crisis under the REACT-EU instrument.

This is the first cohesion policy file whose trilogue negotiations are concluded and it concerns providing assistance to foster crisis repair in response to the pandemic and its social consequences, and preparing a green, digital and resilient recovery of the EU economy.

The instrument will provide €47.5bn over the next two years and the resources will be made available through the EU Structural Funds, with €37.5bn allocated for 2021 and €10bn for 2022.

Projects covered by the agreement should be eligible as of 1 February this year and EU countries will be allowed to use this extra money until the end of 2023, beyond the original Commission proposal of 2022.

According to co-rapporteur Andrey Novakov (EPP, BG) REACT-EU is a textbook example of cohesion policy being part of the recovery. Businesses and healthcare took a hard hit and this funding will be a breath of fresh air, he said, adding that the Parliament hopes that the Council will overcome its internal divisions to allow recovery funding to flow across the EU.

Co-rapporteur Constanze Krehl (S&D, DE) said the focus is on the social consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, and the regions and people who have been hit hardest by the crisis, including cross-border projects, and support for the most deprived people, and youth.

Welcoming the agreement, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira pointed out that this new initiative is a further step in supporting Member States' recovery, providing additional funding for bridging the gap between the first emergency crisis response and the long-term recovery of the economy supported by the 2021-2027 programming period.

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