EU Budget to Increase by €6.2 Billion to Tackle Covid-19 Crisis

European Parliament President David Sassoli at the EU Summit. Photo: European Parliament (file photo)
European Parliament President David Sassoli at the EU Summit. Photo: European Parliament (file photo)

The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have approved €6.2 billion to tackle Covid-19 crisis and speed up vaccine deployment.

The funds will allow the EU to improve its chances of having an effective and safe vaccine available as soon as possible, and to step up Covid-19-related cohesion funding.

Cohesion funds will be topped up with €5.1 billion to ensure that requests for reimbursements from member states for actions taken under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) can be covered.

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The CRII+ was created to relax the cohesion spending rules to increase flexibility, whereas the CRII redirected unspent money from the EU budget to tackling the Covid-19 crisis.

The vaccine-related €1.1 billion will increase payments for the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), a significant part of which is used to secure the production of vaccines in the EU and sufficient supplies for its member states. This is part of the European Commission’s Covid-19 vaccine strategy.

Parliament approved the proposal with 643 votes in favour, 29 against, and 14 abstentions.

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Rakesh Raman