• Posted 14-Sep-2020

REACT-EU: EU support to mitigate immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis

The European Parliament Regional Development Committee beefed up the deployment of exceptional additional EU resources and measures, known as REACT-EU, for fostering crisis repair.

The report was adopted on Monday with 37 votes in favour, none against and 4 abstentions. The REACT-EU instrument, proposed by the Commission before the summer, mobilises additional investment and offers great flexibility for Member States to address the immediate effects of the crisis.

Focus on quality projects and reaching most affected regions and people

To encourage national authorities to finance good quality projects, MEPs voted to allow EU countries use the additional resources also in 2023 and 2024, beyond the Commission 2022 deadline. MEPs insist on ensuring that the resources reach the most affected regions and people and want investments to focus on: health and social infrastructure, health systems and services for all, including cross-border areas, outermost regions, areas affected by industrial transition and depopulation, tourism and culture sectors, youth employment, disadvantaged groups.

Allocation of financial resources

MEPs underline the need to maintain the level of REACT-EU financial resources tabled by the Commission, i.e. EUR 55 billion, despite the European Council proposed budget cuts. MEPs also agreed that expenditure for operations covered should be eligible as of 1 February 2020.

Ensuring respect of cohesion policy and democratic principles

As REACT-EU provides considerable new funding whilst reducing administrative burdens as well as controls on spending, MEPs stress that the various derogations must remain temporary. Parliament requests the Commission to provide an evaluation of the exceptional measures’ impact and efficiency. Moreover, MEPs reintroduced the eight-week period for national parliaments consultation.

Next steps

Parliament plenary is expected to give the mandate for inter-institutional negotiations during its September sitting. MEPs wish a timely adoption of the measures, to allow Member States to use the additional funds as soon as possible.

Source: European Parliament Press Room (https://bit.ly/3hwlb8y)