Coronavirus: reprogramming of more than €618 million in Cohesion policy funding to overcome the effects of the pandemic in Poland

The European Commission has approved the modifications of three cohesion policy operational programmes in Poland, redirecting €618 million in Cohesion policy funding to address the effects of the coronavirus crisis in the Polish economy and health system. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira commented: “There is no time to waste in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the new flexibility in the rules to use Cohesion policy, as well as the swift action of the Commission and the Polish regional and national authorities, much needed resources have been made available to help mitigate the negative consequences of this crisis.” The modification of the Operational Programme (OP) Smart Growth 2014-2020 will make available €314.5 million of EU Cohesion policy funds in form of subsidies and loans for over 7,200 enterprises suffering from financial loss as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. The same OP will provide €71 million to finance testing of an innovative solution in the field of diagnostics, therapy and prevention; piloting projects intended to readjust business models of companies, as well as to support the research projects. Under the OP Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020, €170 million will support health workers, sanitary inspection services, firefighter brigades, police officers, organizers of collective public transport, and services dealing with road safety. Finally, the modification of the Regional Operational Programme for Wielkopolska will allow €63 million to help health and social assistance and support SMEs. Already 110 respirators, 100 hospital beds and intensive care units, 24,000 litres and over 1.5 million personal protective equipment were bought for hospitals in the region. Thanks to the project ‘Wielkopolska Digital School’ 4,940 teachers and 11,680 students from 600 schools in the region were equipped with laptops and tablets to continue education during the lockdown.