The European Commission has approved the modification of three new EU Cohesion policy operational programmes in Italy allowing Calabria, Liguria and Emilia Romagna regions to redirect almost €737 million of cohesion policy funds to respond to the coronavirus pandemic by supporting the health and socio-economic sectors. Cohesion and Reforms Commissioner Elisa Ferreira (pictured) said: “I am very pleased to see that almost all Italian regions have taken advantage of the cohesion policy flexibility to redirect the funds to where they are most needed in these difficult times. This will significantly help the country to address the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic both in the short and the long run.”
Calabria's programme amendment (€500 million) will use the flexibility to strengthen the crisis response capacity of the health sector, support SMEs, boost employment and e-learning. This modification also includes a temporary increase in the EU co-financing rate to 100% for eligible actions, thus helping the region to overcome liquidity scarcity. Liguria (€46.9 million) will strengthen the health system, support SMEs with grants, working capital and additional guarantees via the national Guarantee Fund. Finally, in addition to a previous programme modification, Emilia Romagna's programme amendment (€190 million) will improve the response of the health sector, by providing personal protection and medical equipment and testing capacity. Modifying these three 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.
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