REACT-EU instrument to support regions affected by the coronavirus pandemic
The Finnish Government approved the content of REACT-EU funding on 25 February as part of the ongoing Sustainable growth and jobs structural funds programme. Allocation of recovery funds to regions will begin in spring 2021. This funding will particularly support SMEs from the perspective of digitalisation and a green economy.
The REACT-EU instrument (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe) seeks to assist in repairing the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic in regions where the economy and employment have been particularly hard hit. REACT-EU funding will lay the foundations for a green, digital economic recovery that supports regenerative capacity. The funding will support SMEs, R&D, digital skills, and the development of a capacity for change in enterprises and their staff.
“It is important to deploy REACT-EU funding swiftly in support of a brisk recovery of areas bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic,” explains Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.
A total of EUR 295 million available through REACT-EU will be disbursed for the period 2021–2023. This total comprises some EUR 169 million in EU funding and EUR 126 million in national co-funding.
Funding to be deployed promptly
This funding will be disbursed through Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) and through regional councils. Financing decisions may be finalised after Parliament has approved a supplementary budget including REACT-EU funding, and the Government has decided on the regional distribution of funds.
Businesses may apply to ELY Centres for REACT-EU-related business development assistance. ELY Centres receive such applications continually. Further details of this development assistance are available on the ELY Centres website.
Other operators, such as business development organisations, research and training organisations, NGOs, municipalities and other public bodies, are also eligible for REACT-EU funding. Funding will be disbursed by both regional councils and ELY Centres regionally. A call for projects has already been issued in parts of Finland, with further calls due to be announced in March. Details are available on the structural funds website at structuralfunds.fi.
Applications, grant decisions, disbursement, monitoring and follow-up of REACT-EU funding will comply with familiar structural funds programme procedures and with current legislation.
REACT-EU funding is part of the EU Recovery Instrument
In July 2020 the European Council outlined a major EU funding initiative, the EU Recovery Instrument, in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. REACT-EU is one of several EU financial instruments and programmes comprising the Next Generation EU recovery instrument. REACT-EU will provide additional funding to Member States for the ongoing structural funds programmes of the 2014-2020 programme period.
Most funding from the Recovery Instrument will be allocated to the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), for which Finland is currently preparing a national programme. The RRF will focus on broader reforms and investments, while REACT-EU finances regional and local projects that can be implemented swiftly.
Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7213
Tapani Kojonsaari, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7070
Helinä Yli-Knuutila, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7146