The Commission has published the allocation of REACT-EU resources for the year 2022. Around €11 billion (in current prices) are now available for programming under Cohesion policy in all 27 Member States. These funds come in addition to the almost €40 billion made available in 2021. Member States will be able to continue implementing recovery measures by increasing resilience of healthcare, business and support to the most vulnerable groups, while also contributing to the green and digital priorities for a smart, sustainable and cohesive recovery.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “REACT-EU is a success instrument to support the recovery from the coronavirus crisis and implement a fair green and digital transition in the EU. EU countries have programmed almost all of the 2021 REACT-EU resources, now we urge Member States to rapidly submit to the Commission their programme amendments for the 2022 tranche for a timely absorption.”
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said: “From supporting job-seekers in Belgium to funding care for the elderly in Bulgaria, REACT-EU has been making a tangible contribution to Europeans’ lives since the onset of the crisis. With €11 billion available for 2022, Member States should continue to make the most of this additional source of funding.”
The REACT-EU resources are released in two tranches in order to capture thoroughly the evolving social and economic impact of the pandemic. Allocations are based on the countries’ GDP, unemployment and youth unemployment. Additionally, the breakdown takes into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Member States’ economies according to statistic data from 19 October 2021.
REACT-EU was the very first instrument to be used under NextGenerationEU, the first payment of €800 million was made on 28 June 2021. The swift approval of measures have allowed Member States to allocate €37 billion, with total payments reaching €6.1 billion. Of these approved measures, €23.3 billion will be used through the European Regional Development Fund, €12.8 billion through the European Social Fund and €0.5 billion through the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived.
Concrete examples of EU solidarity
Here are some concrete examples of the support that people and businesses have received through REACT-EU:
- European Regional Development Fund (ERDF): In Czech Republic, the ERDF develops and modernises the ‘Brno Military Hospital’. In Sweden, the Fund is helping small and medium-sized companies recover from the crisis through digital development towards new markets. In France, the ERDF will help modernise the ‘Henry Becquerel Centre for Fight against Cancer’ to welcome more patients. In Spain, ERDF supported the transition to a digital economy focusing on the digitalisation of public services, including e-health and e-learning, as well as the transition to a green economy thanks to electric mobility in public transport, improved energy efficiency and use of renewables in public buildings.
- European Social Fund (ESF): Across Member States, people are receiving training, coaching, and career guidance to increase their chances of maintaining their jobs or finding new ones. In Belgium, for instance, ESF helped people affected by the pandemic develop their skills for a green and digital economy, strengthen dual learning and prevent school drop-out. In Bulgaria, staff working at the forefront of the coronavirus pandemic received a wage top-up, and older people and persons with disabilities are receiving health and social services at home.
- Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD): In Austria and Romania for instance, children in need have received school supplies. In Estonia, France, Luxembourg and other Member States, food aid like warm meals and basic material assistance like hygiene products were delivered to most deprived people. In Latvia, FEAD money was also used to provide masks and disinfectants.
The Commission recently launched the negotiations with the Member States on the use of the 2022 tranche of REACT-EU. Member States will now be able to send their programmes amendments to the Commission. Once these amendments are approved, the Member States will be able to access the new resources as of 1 January 2022.
REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides €50.6 billion of additional funding (in current prices) to cohesion policy programmes for the years 2021 and 2022, to be used by the end of 2023. The goal of REACT-EU is to support economic and social recovery from the coronavirus crisis by fostering crisis repair and resilience of healthcare, business and support to the most vulnerable groups. The funds also contribute to the green and digital priorities for a smart and sustainable recovery.
Around €40 billion are available under REACT-EU for 2021, of which 92% have already been allocated to investment programmes. The funds have been mainly used to bridge the gap between emergency measures taken at the beginning of the crisis and long-term crisis repair.