The Commission has granted €2 billion to Italy, Spain, Luxembourg and Romania following the modification of two European Regional Development Fund, one European Social Fund (ESF) and one Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived Operational Programmes (OP) under the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories in Europe (REACT-EU).
In Italy, the national OP ‘Governance and Institutional Capacity’ will receive a total of €1.2 billion. Of this sum, €761 million will go towards buying 68 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus. In the Southern regions, authorities will use €374 million to hire new public healthcare workers and cover the costs of extra hours worked by workers currently in the system. €108 million will help strengthen the administrative capacity of national and regional authorities, including in the healthcare system.
In Spain, ‘Comunidad Valenciana’ will receive additional resources of €690 million to provide, amongst others, working capital to the most affected Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and to reinforce health, social services, and investments in basic infrastructure for citizens, including in the health and education sectors.
Luxembourg will receive €69 million to support large-scale coronavirus testing and the acquisition of vaccines, and investments in sustainability such as the electrification of the national bus network.
In Romania, €56 million will be invested to provide material support for disadvantaged groups, such as hot meals, assistance to disadvantaged children with school supplies and to disadvantaged mothers with essential kits for their newborn babies.
REACT-EU is part of NextGenerationEU and provides €50.6 billion additional funding (in current prices) over the course of 2021 and 2022 to Cohesion Policy programmes.