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Commission praises ‘excellent’ use of EU funds to tackle Covid-19

Image: BATMANV, via Shutterstock

Examples cited include Greece devoting more than €1.1bn to the pandemic

The European Commission has praised European governments over their use of EU cohesion funding to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have excellent examples on the mobilisation of funds and the measures introduced in many cities and regions across Europe,” cohesion commissioner Elisa Ferreira said in a 29 July update on the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII), which relaxed rules on cohesion funding to allow it to be devoted to combating the pandemic.

Examples cited included Greece, which the Commission said has used €1.14 billion to stimulate its economy by funding “entrepreneurship support actions” through changes to 13 regional programmes and two national ones.

Italy was said to have redirected €30 million from the European Regional Development Fund to help the regions of Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany—with the latter giving small- and medium-sized companies easier access to funds.

To date, 26 EU countries and the UK have made use of CRII funding, with 18 countries adjusting their cohesion policy programmes to do so, the Commission said.