Coronavirus: Commission amends regulation to better support Western Balkans, Turkey and the EU surrounding regions

The European Commission amended the regulation supporting countries and regions eligible to the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Cross-border Cooperation, to benefit from the simplified financial and legal measures put into place to fight the COVID-19 crisis, under the CRII and CRII Plus packages. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented: “As already applied to the EU neighbouring countries, the amended rules to support now also the pre-accession countries in the fight against coronavirus are essential for such global crisis. Once again, with this amendment we are showing EU’s willingness to partner on equal footing with pre-accession countries so that they can benefit from the same opportunities as EU Member States.” The amendment of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for Cross-border CooperationRegulation will provide immediate support to the rapidly emerging needs in a flexible and effective way with regard to exposed sectors, such as healthcare or tourism. The new provisions reduce the administrative burden on Managing Authorities and simplify procedures for the audit authorities. The amended Regulation also allows to apply a 100% EU co-financing rate for the accounting year 2020-2021 as well as to flexibly transfer funds among priority areas. The revised and more flexible rules are contributing to the EU global response of the European Commission to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes the “Team Europe” package securing €800 million for the Western Balkans and Turkey