Fri. Aug 19th, 2022

Strasbourg, 7 April 2022

  • Quicker access to the “REACT-EU” funds for EU governments
  • EU countries to receive 15% support up-front
  • Those with highest number of arrivals from Ukraine to receive 45% of recovery fund money immediately

EU countries sheltering people fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will immediately receive €3.4 billion, MEPs decided on Thursday.

Following Parliament’s green light to redirect EU regional and asylum funding to EU countries sheltering people fleeing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during the last plenary session, MEPs adopted additional urgent support measures.

With 549 votes to one and eight abstentions, Parliament agreed to immediately release around €3.4 billion (out of €10 billion available) from the “REACT-EU” funds and speed up EU governments’ access to funds to pay for infrastructure, housing, equipment, employment, education, social inclusion, healthcare and childcare for refugees.

The new rules will increase the initial pre-financing of REACT-EU resources from 11% to 15% to all EU countries. EU countries bordering Ukraine (Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and those that have received a significant number of refugees from Ukraine equivalent to more than 1% of their national population (Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia and Estonia) can immediately get 45% (rather than 11%) of their recovery funds without any invoices to be presented at this time.

Background

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 4 million people have left the country since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, most of them heading to neighbouring countries.

REACT-EU is a €50 billion package set up in 2020 to help mitigate the immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis across the EU.

Next steps

The draft rules will now also have to be formally approved by Council. The regulation will enter into force one day after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.