Since 1 April, a new package of measures (the CRII+) has extended the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) by introducing extraordinary flexibility in order to mobilise all unused aid from the European Structural and Investment Funds; the aim is in particular to help individuals and companies to cope.
This extension of the CRII provides the following opportunities for Member States
– Transfer possibilities across the three cohesion policy funds (the European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and Cohesion Fund);
– Transfers between the different categories of regions;
– Flexibility when it comes to thematic concentration;
– A 100% EU co-financing rate for cohesion policy programmes for the accounting year 2020-2021, allowing Member States to benefit for full EU financing for crisis-related measures;
– A simplification of some procedures (those related to the implementation, use of financial instruments and audit of the above-mentioned programmes).
Special attention for the most needy: FEAD
CRII+ provides support for the most deprived by amending the applicable rules to the European Fund for Aid to the Most Deprived Persons (FEAD). For example, it is now possible to provide food aid and basic material assistance through electronic vouchers and to provide protective equipment; thus reducing the risk of contamination.
Amendments to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)
CRII+ will provide support for temporary cessation of fishing activities and for the suspension of production and additional costs for the aquaculture farmers, as well as to producer organisations for the storage of fishery and aquaculture products.