EU Cohesion policy: €367.4 million for Bulgaria, Estonia and Germany to tackle the social and economic impact of the coronavirus crisis

The Commission has approved a total of €367.4 million for Bulgaria, Estonia and Germany under REACT-EU to support labour market resilience, jobs, SMEs and low-income families as well as setting future-proof foundations for the green and digital transitions and a sustainable socio-economic recovery. In Bulgaria, €173.6 million are added to the ‘Human Resources Development’ Operational Programme (OP), co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). 50,000 employees received support to maintain their employment during temporary restrictions of their activities caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 17,250 medical and non-medical staff working at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic received additional remuneration to their wages. 53,000 people in need will receive support, including older people and persons with disabilities who will receive health and social services at home. In Estonia, the changes to the ‘OP for Cohesion Policy Funds’ will add an extra €173.2 million in support of the coronavirus vaccination campaign, of the improvement of healthcare services, as well as tourism recovery, enterprise support and energy efficiency for apartment buildings. In Germany, the modification of the European Social Fund (ESF) ‘OP for Rhineland-Palatinate’ of an extra €20.6 million will allow the region to invest in people’s skills. In particular, this funding will support the self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs, workers in transition (investing in education, training and skills development) and young people’s access to an apprenticeship as well as the digital transformation of education and training. As part of NextGenerationEU, REACT-EU provides a top-up of €47.5 billion (€50.5 billion in current prices) to Cohesion policy programmes over the course of 2021 and 2022.