EU Cohesion policy: €838.8 million for Belgium, France, Germany and Slovakia to tackle the social and economic impact of the coronavirus crisis

The Commission has approved a total of €838.8 million for Belgium, France, Germany and Slovakia under REACT-EU to help tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and prepare the recovery. In Belgium, the EU adds €31.7 million to the operational programme (OP) Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) for the delivery of food and material assistance to vulnerable people in need during the coronavirus crisis. In France, the region Grand Est receives a total of €148.3 million to facilitate people’s access to training or a first job, improve the skills of those seeking employment and expand training capacities for caregivers. The EU funds will also support the regional healthcare system by helping to acquire equipment and facilitate the organisation of hospitals. They will also help investing in the energy efficiency of public buildings and social housing, supporting the digital transition, and helping businesses most affected by the crisis. In the French overseas department of La Réunion, €256 million will provide equipment for training staff in the health sector, ensure working capital and investments in businesses, particularly in the tourism sector, improve the clean water network and sustainable mobility, as well as support the digitalisation of businesses, local administrations and the educational institutions. In Germany, an additional €86 million for the European Social Fund (ESF) OP in the Land of Baden-Württemberg will support job creation and quality employment, expand employment measures for young people implementing the EU Youth Guarantee, invest in skills and training, and support social systems, including tackling child poverty. In Slovakia, the OP ‘Human Resources’ will receive an additional €316.8 million to support job creation and job retention measures, access to education for vulnerable groups, healthcare and long-term care services, financial counselling services and housing for homeless people. REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides €50.6 billion additional funding (in current prices) over the course of 2021 and 2022 to Cohesion policy programmes. Measures focus on supporting 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.