REACT-EU to Address Impact of Covid-19 in Europe

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 European Union (EU) institutions reached a provisional agreement on deploying additional EU resources and measures to mitigate the immediate effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

On 18 November, European Parliament and Council concluded negotiations on providing assistance to foster crisis repair in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its social consequences, and preparing a green, digital and resilient recovery of the EU economy (REACT-EU).

REACT-EU will provide €47.5 billion over the next two years. The resources will be made available through the EU Structural Funds, with €37.5 billion allocated for 2021 and €10 billion for 2022. Operations covered by the agreement should be eligible as of 1 February 2020. Moreover, EU countries will be allowed to use these additional resources until the end of 2023, beyond the original Commission proposal of 2022.

Resources will be allocated in accordance with the partnership principle, involving local and regional authorities, as well as relevant bodies representing civil society and social partners.

REACT-EU is a proposal made by the Commission to address the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the form of an amendment to the Common Provisions Regulation governing the current cohesion policy programming period.

It follows two earlier proposals relating to cohesion policy, the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the Coronavirus Response Initiative Plus (CRII+), which both modified the rules for regional spending in order to facilitate recovery. The REACT-EU additional resources will come from the European Union Recovery Instrument.

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Rakesh Raman