23 Nov, 2020

REACT-EU: an additional instrument for regional cohesion in the age of Covid-19

Renew Europe welcomes the compromise reached on 18 November between the European Parliament and the European Council on an additional instrument for the benefit of regional policy, in which the centrist group played an active role.

REACT-EU (“Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe”) is a flexible support initiative for economic recovery in European regions in the context of the pandemic crisis. What was at stake for Renew Europe was that this instrument, finally endowed with 47.5 billion euros at the end of the negotiations, take into account the reality on the ground. This is why it was crucial on the one hand to obtain retroactive eligibility of REACT-EU from 1 February 2020, and on the other hand that the benefit of this crisis instrument could run until December 2023 and be cumulative with the other Cohesion Policy Funds.

Social and territorial cohesion is indeed at the heart of the Renew Europe project, which pleaded for and won specific recognition and a boost for the outermost regions. A key priority for the Renew Europe negotiating team was the respect for EU values and the Rule of Law. Meanwhile it is essential that the legitimate interests of final recipients and beneficiaries are properly safeguarded in the distribution of REACT-EU funds.

Susana Solís Pérez MEP (Ciudadanos, Spain), spokesperson for Renew Europe on this issue within the Parliamentary Committee for Regional Policy, commented:

We negotiated the React-EU Regulation in a record time to ensure that final beneficiaries receive these funds as fast as possible. React-EU will help citizens and SMEs face the social and economic consequences of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic through an unprecedented financing rate and flexibility. This fund will be available in the next three years to provide liquidity to SMEs, finance short-time work schemes, and improve the quality of our healthcare systems. It will help save thousands of businesses and millions of jobs throughout the EU. It is an example of the EU´s ability to react in times of crisis and adapt cohesion policy to the needs of citizens.”

Photo: Susana Solís Pérez MEP (c) European Union 2020 - Source: EP / Emilie Gomez

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