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REGI activates crisis response measures

The Regional Development Committee has prepared a slate of proposals that are meant to aid European citizens during the ongoing crisis

  • March 18, 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Source: EP-096184A_Plenary by GUE/NGL on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The European Parliament’s Regional Development Committee (REGI) wants to speed up the legislative process in order to enact a slate of crisis response measures that are meant to safeguard European citizens from the adverse economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

To that end, Younous Omarjee, chair of REGI, stated that the Committee is triggering the European Parliament’s “urgent procedure”, under Rule 163 of the Parliament’s rules and procedures. That would ensure that the Committee’s proposal is quickly adopted by parliamentarians without amendments and would immediately be put to use helping European citizens by quickly setting up funding channels to those who have been hit the hardest by the crisis.

“We must respond as urgently as possible, by channelling all means available under the cohesion policy, to mitigate the catastrophic situation caused by the Coronavirus epidemic. Any delay would result in more lives being lost and additional difficulties for European regions, companies and citizens. Our committee is fully briefed about the situation and ready to act. All political groups are united. We are opening the door and I am convinced that the same spirit will prevail within the Council. In this critical moment in time, seeking something better than what we have on the table may do more harm than good,stated Younous Omarjee.

The proposals in brief

On 13 March, a proposal was submitted to amend the EU’s Common Provisions Regulation, the European Regional Development Fund and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund in order to redirect funding and combat the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic – in total, the Commission’s proposal amounts to some 37 billion euros of aid for those most severely affected.

Yet any changes to the EU’s funding rules require the consent not only of the European Parliament but the Council as well – something that might not be a given and is still up for debate.

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