EC allows Romania to redirect 550 mln euro in cohesion funds to coronavirus response, in the benefit of SMEs
The European Commission said it approved the re-allocation of 550 million euro ($640 million) in cohesion policy funding available to Romania to cushion the adverse effects of the coronavirus crisis on the country’s economy.
Financial support will be granted to more than 120,000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and to initiatives for digitalisation and e-education, the Commission said in a press release.
“Thanks to the flexibility provided by the Commission’s coronavirus response initiative (CRII), Romanian companies can benefit from this vital support to weather the difficulties caused by the pandemic and save jobs,” Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira said. “Together with EU funds already geared towards the Romanian health sector, training, education and infrastructures, this is a unique opportunity for a prompt economic recovery. It is now of utmost importance to swiftly put these measures into action.”
Romania has already mobilised 350 million euro of EU funds to support health workers in the frontline of the fight against the pandemic.
The modifications are possible thanks to the exceptional flexibility under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+), which allow member states to use cohesion policy funding to support the sectors most exposed to the pandemic.
The initative will reinforce the transformational effect the cohesion policy funds have on the Romanian economy through the financing of innovation, research, training, education, modern water management, sewage systems, new roads and other infrastructure, the Comission said.