Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Coronavirus response - 03.04.2020

Cohesion funds to receive much-needed flexibility to fight COVID-19
This is good news. On 2 April 2020, the European Commission presented a second set of financial measures to mitigate the socio-economic impact of  the COVID-19 outbreak. The proposals include much more flexibility for the use of structural and investment funds.

In practical terms, it means possible transfer of funding resources between the different cohesion policy funds, a temporary 100% financing from the Commission (thus, no local co-financing is required) and a much-needed loosening of administrative requirements.

CEMR spokespersons for territorial development welcomed the Commission’s proposal.

Member of Orkney Islands Council (Scotland, UK) and CEMR spokesperson for territorial development Steven Heddle stated: “With this crisis, we are jumping into the unknown. This is why more than ever we need flexibility in the use of cohesion funds to enhance the resilience of our territories. Municipalities and regions need support to be able to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and its social and economic consequences.”

Councillor of the Toscana Region (Italy) and CEMR spokesperson for territorial development Ilaria Bugetti declared: “We call on the Commission’s future COVID-19 task force to consult with associations of local and regional governments to ensure the practical implementation of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative. CEMR also encourages both EU Members States and the Commission to draw lessons from this situation in the design of the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework and Cohesion Policy.

The final legal steps are currently being taken to adopt these measures.
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