Today, the European Commission announces the first provisional results of the implementation of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+).
From the beginning of the crisis, and thanks to the flexibility introduced in the Cohesion Policy, the EU mobilised over €13 billion in investments to tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (CF). The EU funds helped national, regional and local communities in countering the negative socio-economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In total, €4.1 billion have been reallocated towards healthcare to purchase vital machinery and personal protective equipment to save lives. €8.4 billion have been mobilised through issuing grants, loans and a series of personalised financial instruments to support the economy and, in particular, Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) to adapt to the crisis. Finally, around €1.4 billion have been channelled through the ESF to help people and save jobs.
To ensure maximum transparency and accountability, the Commission launches today a dedicated webpage on the Cohesion Open Data Platform to show how the EU Cohesion policy is supporting Member States to overcome the coronavirus crisis. With daily updates, the platform will show all information regarding programme amendments, where the resources are going and how these are invested. With a constant update, the overview of the platform will become everyday more complete.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Cohesion policy is at the heart of fighting the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring a rapid recovery. The results of our stocktaking show that all Member States are taking advantage of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative for the benefit of citizens, businesses and the health sector. As from today, such successful results are clearly visible to everyone on our interactive Coronavirus Dashboard, at just a click away.”
President of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, added: “Thanks to simplified rules, cohesion policy has shown its added value bringing together EU’s Member States, regions and cities, to protect our people, save jobs and preserve local economies during the pandemic. We need to treasure this lesson making easier the access to EU funds and involving all levels of government to shape and deliver recovery plans. To get the utmost out of every invested euro and ensure that money goes where it is needed the most, we need cohesion to be the guiding compass for all EU investments.”