Coronavirus: Commission supports EU neighbouring countries by making rules on cross-border programmes and projects more flexible

Following the launch of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative packages, the European Commission has now also adjusted the rules for Cross-border Cooperation programmes between EU Member States and EU’s neighbouring countries funded by European Regional Development Fund and European Neighbourhood Instrument(ENI CBC). This allows the regions on both sides of the EU’s external borders to benefit from the simplified financial and legal measures put into place to fight the coronavirus crisis under these packages. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, commented: “The amended rules to support our neighbour countries in the fight against coronavirus are necessary as this crisis knows no border. Moreover, this amendment shows EU’s willingness to partner on equal footing with its neighbours so that they can benefit from the same opportunities as EU Member States.” Among its many advantages, the regulation allows ENI CBC programmes and projects to benefit from a 100% EU financing, to get more flexibility for project implementation and to reduce the administrative burden for a faster project selection in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. It is also a step towards a better harmonisation of rules between Interreg and cooperation programmes at the EU’s external borders with the Neighbourhood partner countries and Russia.