EESC opinion: REACT-EU

Points clés

(la version française sera bientôt disponible)


  • is convinced that the current triple threat – uncontrolled pandemics, insufficient economic policy programmes and geopolitical "black swans" (extremely unpredictable events) – could push the global economy into a lasting depression;
  • has started to point to the clearly transnational nature of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, emphasising that coordination is vital if the single market is to be saved and effective measures taken;
  • believes that the principles of common values, protection of life and freedom, economic success, social rights, solidarity and subsidiarity are essential to the functioning of the EU. Therefore, has warmly welcomed the fact that the European Commission wishes to respond quickly by establishing adjusted and efficient means of providing financial support to face the COVID-19 pandemic. Also considers that the EU should take every step necessary to overcome this crisis;
  • is delighted to see that the European Commission is responding quickly by establishing straightforward, adjusted and efficient means of providing a level of financial support capable of tackling the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • welcomes and fully supports the Commission's proposals – the Next Generation EU Plan, which includes REACT-EU, and the overall EU budget for 2021-2027. While REACT-EU continues to expand the crisis response and repair measures for a new cohesion policy, the EESC strongly recommends removing any administrative burdens and barriers that may arise;
  • is therefore convinced that REACT-EU will mobilise investment and bring forward financial support for the crucial first years of the recovery, injecting additional resources into the real economy. Support for preserving jobs, creating new jobs – particularly for young people – and support for SME investment are crucial areas for additional funding under REACT-EU;
  • fully agrees that financing must be made available as of 2020 by means of a targeted revision of the current financial framework, in order to prevent any interruption of the funding needed for the key measures to mitigate the crisis and support those in need. It recommends that at least 70% of the REACT-EU additional resources for 2020 be allocated to the Member States as immediate pre-financing, following the adoption of the programme or amendments in question;
  • strongly recommends developing and promoting specific measures for direct technical assistance, to provide on-site monitoring for both areas and regions hardest hit by the pandemic, which is weakening public and private infrastructure, and for the state of businesses and workers;
  •  agrees with the new cross-cutting thematic objective "Fostering crisis repair in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing a green digital and resilient economic recovery", which will be made available for the purposes of their implementation to allow for a timely programming process when developing the policies planned under the European Green Deal;
  •  also welcomes the strengthening of the EU Health Programme and the fact that it will be also be possible to use this financing to make this sensitive and important sector more resilient;
  • considers that – in the light of the lessons learned from the current crisis – there needs to be an appropriate mechanism available to respond to any future shocks. Cohesion policy will play a key role in guaranteeing a balanced recovery, promoting convergence and upholding the principle that no-one must be left behind;
  • considers that a longer-term perspective is also needed, and therefore suggests that the Commission review the co-financing additionality criterion for Member States over the next few years, which will be marked by the consequences of the economic crisis;
  • is convinced that recovery from the effects of the coronavirus crisis will only be successful if it goes hand-in-hand with a recast of our society, better budgetary rules and simpler systems for EU structural intervention: we must focus on reconstruction and recovery.