EU parliament approves extra $57.9bln package to help states mitigate COVID consequences

Moscow, Dec 16 (Bureau) The European Parliament on Wednesday approved the REACT-EU proposal to provide additional 47.5 billion euros ($57.9 billion) to EU member states to help them cope with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. “Parliament has approved REACT-EU, a 47.5 billion EUR package to help mitigate the immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis across EU regions. The initiative was adopted by 654 votes in favour, 23 against and 17 abstentions,” the EU body said in a press release.
The money will be distributed through the EU Structural Funds, with 37.5 billion euros allocated in 2021 and 10 billion euros in 2022, the parliament said, adding that the funds can be spent until the end of 2023. “EU countries will be able to allocate part of the money to the European Social Fund, the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD), the Youth Employment Initiative, as well as cross-border programmes (Interreg). Investments will be focused on the sectors most affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic,” the press release stated. The REACT-EU initiative was proposed by the European Commission as part of measures to address the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is set to amend the Common Provisions Regulation, which governs the 2014-2020 cohesion policy programming period.