Coronavirus: urgent response to support citizens, regions and countries  

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Regional Development Committee triggers the urgent procedure to adopt the Corona Response Investment Initiative measures.

On behalf of the Regional Development Committee, Chair Younous Omarjee, in agreement with the political coordinators, requests that the European Parliament use the “urgent procedure” (defined under Rule 163), to allow the proposed measures to be efficiently adopted.

The committee agrees, therefore, to speed up the legislative process by referring the proposal without amendments to be adopted directly by plenary, in order to channel available EU funds as soon as possible to citizens, regions and countries hit the hardest by the Coronavirus pandemic.

EP Regional Development Committee Chair, Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL, FR) said: “We must respond as urgently as possible, by channelling all means available under the cohesion policy, to mitigate the catastrophic situation caused by the Coronavirus epidemic. Any delay would result in more lives being lost and additional difficulties for European regions, companies and citizens. Our committee is fully briefed about the situation and ready to act. All political groups are united. We are opening the door and I am convinced that the same spirit will prevail within the Council. In this critical moment in time, seeking something better than what we have on the table may do more harm than good”.

Next steps

Amending EU funding rules falls under the co-decision procedure, so both Parliament and Council will need to adopt them. The Parliament will shortly announce the details of the urgent procedure.

Background

A legislative proposal to amend the Common Provisions Regulation, the European Regional Development Fund and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund regulations was published on 13 March.

The Commission proposed to direct EUR 37 billion under the cohesion policy to fight against the Coronavirus crisis, by means of relinquishing its obligation this year to request that pre-financing for the structural funds be returned. This amounts to about EUR 8 billion from the EU budget, which member states will be able to use to supplement EUR 29 billion of structural funding across the EU.