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European Commission approves reallocation of programmes for Spain to combat Covid-19



           


The European Union supports Spain in its fight against coronavirus (photo: F.Dubessy)
The European Union supports Spain in its fight against coronavirus (photo: F.Dubessy)
SPAIN. On Wednesday 23 September 2020, the European Commission approved the modification of nine additional operational programmes under the cohesion policy in Spain. A total amount of €1.2 billion from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will therefore be reallocated to the fight against the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is part of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative+ (CRII+), which very recently received an additional €5.1 billion from unspent EU funds. They allow Member States to use cohesion policy funds to support sectors most at risk from the pandemic, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets.

The €1.2bn earmarked for Spain will be used mainly to "strengthen the response capacity of the Spanish health system by increasing hospital beds, purchasing pharmaceutical and laboratory equipment, as well as medical and protective equipment," says a statement from the institution. But also to support SMEs to help stimulate the economic sector. Part of these funds will be redirected towards the development of ICT (Communication and Information Technologies) in the education and training sectors.

While Asturias, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Navarre, Extremadura and Rioja had already benefited from this change, this time the €1.2bn will go to Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Galicia, Madrid and the Community of Valencia.

Other modifications to ERDF operational programmes are being analysed for the regions of Aragon, Ceuta, Melila, Murcia and an interregional programme.

"Spain plans to use a total of €2.5 billion from the ERDF to help health services and businesses mitigate the adverse consequences of the coronavirus explosion in the country", says the European Commission press release.


Eric Apim


Wednesday, September 23rd 2020



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