Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative
On 1 April 2020, the newly appointed Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) entered into force. It was launched by the European Commission to mobilise cohesion policy to flexibly respond to the rapidly emerging needs in the most exposed sectors, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets, and help the most affected territories in Member States and their citizens.
Important excerpts from this overview are:
The European Commission made a series of proposals to amend legislation that will allow Member States to benefit from more financial back-up and targeted assistance.
Member States can immediately address three key priorities: spending on healthcare, support to short time work schemes, and support to the SMEs working capital.
To make this money available, the Commission is proposing to mobilise quickly cash reserves from the EU funds. This will provide immediate liquidity to Member States' budgets and will help to frontload the yet unallocated €37 billion of cohesion policy funding within the 2014-2020 cohesion policy programmes.
The Commission is also making all Coronavirus crisis related expenditure eligible under cohesion policy rules.
The EU Solidarity Fund will provide additional assistance of up to €800 million to the worst affected countries in order to alleviate the financial burden of the immediate response measures.