Coronavirus response: Over €188 million to support Valle d’Aosta, Veneto, Sardinia, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trento in Italy

The European Commission has approved the modification of five EU Cohesion policy operational programmes in Italy. Over €188 million of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will be redirected to support Valle d’Aosta, Veneto, Sardinia, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Trento regions in fighting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “By now almost all Italian regions have taken advantage of the EU cohesion policy flexibility to address the main challenges of the pandemic. This is helping Italy’s health and economic sectors to face the challenges of the coronavirus crisis.” Programme modifications in Valle d’Aosta (€7.5 million), Veneto (€52 million), Sardinia (€98.8 million) and Trento (€26.5 million) include a request for a temporary increase of the co-financing rate to 100%, thus helping regions overcome liquidity scarcity in the implementation of their programmes. The actions under these four OP amendments aim to tackle the adverse effects of the pandemic, supporting in particular SMEs, in some cases through financial instruments and grants, and purchasing health equipment. Friuli Venezia Giulia (€3.5 million) will increase the response capacity of the regional health services. Modifying these five programmes is possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility provided under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+), which allows Member States to use cohesion policy funding to support the most exposed sectors to the pandemic. Further details are available here.