REACT-EU: Poland, Germany Spain receive more than €685 million to support health and social services, SMEs and employment

The Commission has granted more than €685 million to three European Social Fund (ESF) operational programmes (OPs) in Poland, Germany and Spain to help the countries with coronavirus emergency response through REACT-EU. In Poland, the modification of the national ESF programme ‘Knowledge, Education, Development’ will be topped up with €74.6 million for specialised training and psychological support to doctors and other medical staff. In Germany, the modification of the ESF OP Saxony will make €16 million available to strengthen education and employment opportunities. In particular, the new EU money will support vocational training, extracurricular education for green and digital change and vocational re-entry measures for young researchers affected by the pandemic, providing them with specialised and additional skills to increase their labour-market opportunities. The transformation of small businesses towards a green and digital future will also be supported through HR development in the fields of research and strategic innovation management to improve their attractiveness for high skilled staff. The ESF OP of Catalonia in Spain will receive an additional €595 million to stimulate job creation for unemployed people, particularly the young, and will help maintain employment and skill development of workers. Moreover, the funds will support the labour market integration of people with disabilities and other vulnerable people. Finally, these funds will also finance the hiring of additional health and educational staff during the pandemic. REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides €50.6 billion additional funding (in current prices) to Cohesion policy programmes over the course of 2021 and 2022. 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.