REGI triggers urgent clause on Corona Response measuresEuropost , Brussels
The EP Regional Development Committee (REGI) requests in agreement with the political coordinators, that the Parliament use the “urgent procedure” under Rule 163 to allow the measures proposed on Corona Response Investment Initiative by the Commission, to be adopted.
The demand was announced by REGI Chair Younous Omarjee, French MEP from GUE/NGL group. All amendments of EU funding rules falls under the co-decision procedure of both Parliament and Council.
On 13 March, the Commission proposed to direct €37bn under the cohesion policy to fight against the Coronavirus crisis, by means of relinquishing its obligation this year to request that pre-financing for the structural funds be returned. This amounts to about €8bn from the EU budget, which member states will be able to use to supplement €29bn of structural funding throughout the Union.
The REGI committee decided to speed up the legislative process by referring the proposal without amendments to be adopted directly by plenary, in order to channel available EU funds as soon as possible to citizens, regions and countries hit the hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic. Next plenary meeting is scheduled for 1-2 April and will be held in Brussels.
We must respond as urgently as possible, by channelling all means available under the cohesion policy, to mitigate the catastrophic situation caused by the Coronavirus epidemic, Younous Omarjee stressed. He commented that any delay would result in more lives being lost and additional difficulties for European regions, companies and citizens.
All political groups are united, we are opening the door and I am convinced that the same spirit will prevail within the Council, REGI Chair stressed adding that in this critical moment in time, “seeking something better than what we have on the table may do more harm than good”.