Members of the European Parliament will confirm today the first measure of the Next Generation EU recovery plan that provides extra financial capacity to support European recovery after the Covid-19 crisis. React-EU will, therefore, have no less than €47.5 billion in additional resources. The Socialists and Democrats have been at the forefront of negotiations, ensuring that React-EU will be able to provide additional funding for the most important sectors in order to contribute to green, digital and resilience crisis-repair measures.
Constanze Krehl MEP, S&D spokeswoman on regional development and the European Parliament’s co-rapporteur on the file, said:
“I am glad that the plenary is giving the go ahead for React-EU. This programme, with a budget of €47.5 billion is a strong European reaction to the Covid crisis. It puts a focus on the regions and people who have been hit hardest by the pandemic: to maintain existing jobs and to create new ones, to strengthen health systems and to support hard-hit sectors like culture and tourism. By supporting projects retro-actively, from February 1st 2020, React-EU is a smart and unbureaucratic tool for regions to cope with Covid-19 and its consequences. Personally I am also happy that all spending has to respect the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Climate Agreement – this should have been self-explanatory, but it took a lot of hard negotiations to bring member states in line.”
Rovana Plumb MEP, S&D vice-president, said:
“Our Group has always been at the forefront of calls for a swift and meaningful EU reaction, showing that the European Parliament is ready to step in and properly address the pandemic and its consequences for the benefit of our citizens.
“Throughout the negotiations, we have always focused on the social component of React-EU. Additional resources need to go to youth employment, education and skills, social inclusion and health in particular. And in doing so, we must make sure that no disadvantaged group is left behind.
“Health, tourism and culture are also areas where special attention will be paid. And, as always, our Group has fought hard to keep a balance between regions – the ones most affected by the pandemic and the less developed ones – which are at the core of the cohesion policy.”