Coronavirus response: €550 million of Cohesion policy funds to support SMEs in Romania
The European Commission has approved the modification of the Operational Programme ‘Competitiveness’ in Romania redirecting €550 million of Cohesion policy funding to cushion the adverse effects of the coronavirus crisis on the country’s economy. Financial support will be given to more than 120,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to initiatives for digitalisation and e-education. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Thanks to the flexibility provided by the Commission’s coronavirus response initiative (CRII), Romanian companies can benefit from this vital support to weather the difficulties caused by the pandemic and save jobs. Together with EU funds already geared towards the Romanian health sector, training, education and infrastructures, this is a unique opportunity for a prompt economic recovery. It is now of utmost importance to swiftly put these measures into action.” Romania has already mobilised €350 million of EU funds to support health workers in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic. The modifications are possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+), which allow Member States to use Cohesion policy funding to support the sectors most exposed to the pandemic. They will reinforce the transformational effect the Cohesion policy funds is having on the Romanian economy through the financing of innovation, research, training, education, modern water management, sewage systems, new roads and other infrastructure. More information is available here.