As announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) on 27 May, the Commission is proposing a new REACT-EU initiative to increase cohesion support to member states to make their economies more resilient and sustainable in the crisis repair phase. This will help to bridge the gap between first response measures and longer-term recovery. Programmes such as the European Social Fund and the Fund for European Aid for the Most Deprived can be topped-up using part of the €55 billion in fresh funding available.
Beyond the immediate crisis response, cohesion policy will be crucial to ensuring a balanced recovery in the longer term, avoiding asymmetries and divergences of growth between and within member states.
The Commission is therefore also adjusting its proposals for the future cohesion and social policy programmes to give even stronger support to recovery investments, for example in the resilience of national healthcare systems, in sectors such as tourism and culture, in support for small and medium-sized enterprises, youth employment measures, education and skills, and measures combatting child poverty.
Finally, the Commission is also strengthening the Just Transition Mechanism, a key element of the European Green Deal, to ensure social fairness in the transition towards a climate-neutral economy in the most vulnerable coal – and carbon-intensive regions.