To support Member States welcoming and accommodating refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, the Commission has today proposed to increase by €3.4 billion the total pre-financing from the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU). Once adopted by co-legislators, this immediate injection of liquidity, in combination with the flexibility introduced by Cohesion's Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE), will speed-up Member States' access to funds to spend on infrastructure, housing, equipment and services in employment, education, social inclusion, healthcare and childcare.
Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “The illegal and unjustified invasion by Russia has forced more than 3 million Ukrainians to flee their country, and this number is growing by the day. Member States and civil society have shown remarkable solidarity and the EU is stepping up its action to ensure that the necessary support reaches all those who are hosting them. This is why, after the CARE proposal, cohesion policy will advance €3.4 billion from REACT-EU to Member States, notably those in the frontline, to help meet their needs. We stand with the people of Ukraine and we will continue to back Member States in welcoming all those fleeing the war.”
Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit added: “Given the urgency and severity of the crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the EU is looking for new ways to make liquidity available immediately to the Member States most affected. With today's proposal to increase the pre-financing rate under REACT-EU, €3.4 billion will reach Member States as quickly as possible, so they can provide immediate support to the people in need. We have no time to lose.”
A financial boost for Member States' solidarity with Ukraine
For all Member States, the Commission proposes to increase pre-financing from 11% to 15% of the 2021 REACT-EU tranche. Moreover, for frontline Member States (Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and Member States that have received the highest number of arrivals from Ukraine in proportion to their national population (above 1% between 24 February 2022 and 23 March 2022 - Austria, Bulgaria, Czechia and Estonia), the Commission proposes to increase the percentage to 45%. This total increase in pre-financing equals €3.4 billion to be paid to Member States upon approval of the proposal by co-legislators.
As the number of people fleeing the war is increasing by the hour and Member States are currently in the process of registering people, the situation is very dynamic. To create a situational picture approximating the pressure with which Member States are being confronted due to the large scale of arrivals, the Commission calculated the share of arrivals relative to the population based on information from Member States obtained through the Blueprint Network, international organisations, and other reliable open sources.
The proposed amendments to the Common Provisions Regulation and the Regulation on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) require adoption by the European Parliament and the Council.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine in 2014, the EU and its Member States have contributed over €1 billion in humanitarian and early recovery aid to the country.
As part of NextGenerationEU, REACT-EU provides a top-up of €50.6 billion (in current prices) to the 2014-2020 cohesion policy programmes over the course of 2021 and 2022. REACT-EU entered into force on 24 December 2020 and can finance expenditure retroactively from 1 February 2020 until 31 December 2023.
Today's proposal to increase pre-financing for Member States under REACT-EU complements the Cohesion's Actions for Refugees in Europe (CARE) proposal adopted on 8 of March and the possibility for Member States to use the 2022 REACT-EU tranche to support measures to assist people fleeing Ukraine, in line with the overall aim of post-pandemic recovery.
- Publication date
- 23 March 2022
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations