REACT-EU: €1.5 billion for Portugal to support the health system, SMEs and investments in skills and jobs
The Commission granted €1.5 billion to Portugal, distributed between the mainland and Azores, complementing the funding provided to Madeira on 4 June. Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “I am glad that, across Europe and including the outermost regions, Member States are taking advantage of the emergency support from the Commission to fight the pandemic and quick-start a long-term recovery.” €1.43 billion in mainland Portugal and €96 million in the Azores will reinforce the health system and schools testing capacity, provide working capital to the most affected small and medium-sized enterprise, increase apprenticeships and human resources in schools, and support environmentally friendly production processes. These amendments follow the approval of equivalent support to Madeira, where €64 million are now being invested to facilitate the recovery of the region, including by supporting jobs maintenance and jobs creation for the unemployed and for young people and the health system. Financing is coming from the REACT-EU initiative and it is implemented by modifying two operational programmes that combine the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU. It 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. The funding now approved corresponds to Portugal’s allocation in 2021. The national allocations for 2022 will be known in autumn when the relevant statistic data will be available.