The European Commission has approved the modification of nine more Cohesion policy operational programmes in Spain, worth a total of €1.2 billion from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. This comprehensive recovery approach will reallocate funds to strengthen the response capacity of the Spanish health system with supplementary hospital beds, the purchase of pharmaceutical and laboratory material, medical and protective equipment. Moreover, support to SMEs will contribute to boost the economic sector. Finally, EU funds will be redirected to develop the ITC of the education and training sectors.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented: “I am glad to see that Spain and its outermost region are taking advantage of the EU Cohesion policy flexibility measures put into place to support citizens, businesses and the health sector in their daily efforts against the virus. The European Commission stands ready to support Spanish regions and all Member States thanks to the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII).”
After Asturias and País Vasco, Cataluña and Navarra, Extremadura and La Rioja, nine other Spanish regions are now benefitting from the CRII flexibilities (Andalucía, Baleares, Canarias, Cantabria, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla y León, Galicia, Madrid and Comunidad Valenciana). Other modifications to ERDF operational programmes (Aragón, Ceuta, Melilla, Murcia and Plurirregional Spain) are being analysed and will be adopted soon A full list of Spanish regions that benefitted from similar flexibility measures is available here.
The modifications are possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) which allow Member States to use Cohesion policy funding to support the most exposed sectors because of the pandemic, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets. Regions will also benefit from a temporary increase of the EU co-financing up to 100%. Spain plans to use in total €2.5 billion from the ERDF to support the health services and businesses in mitigating the harmful consequences of the coronavirus outburst in the country.
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