Coronavirus response: €150 million of Cohesion policy funding reprogrammed to mitigate the social impact of the pandemic in Spain

The European Commission has approved the modification of the regional programmes for the Spanish Basque Country and Asturias, which foresees a redirection of €150 million of Cohesion policy funding, to strengthen the response capacities of the healthcare sector to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the two regions. It is the first coronavirus-related modification of Cohesion policy programmes in Spain. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “This decision is a result of the joint efforts of the Commission and the Spanish national and regional authorities to swiftly use the EU funding to ensure vital sanitary equipment and materials to health workers and patients. I am pleased to see that our Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative is delivering concrete results in the regions of Spain, one of the hardest-hit EU countries, paving the way for an appropriate response of the health services.” In addition to the reallocation of existing funds, the modification of the two programmes will temporarily increase the EU financing rate to 100%. This will help beneficiaries of the funding to overcome liquidity scarcity in the implementation of their projects. The modifications are possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility provided by the Commission under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII). Spain plans to use in total €2.5 billion from the European Regional Development Fund to support the health services and businesses in mitigating the harmful consequences of the pandemic in the country.