The Commission has granted €923 million for Spain’s digital and green recovery and transition under REACT-EU, to be implemented through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) operational programs.
Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, said: “Cohesion policy has been at the forefront of the fight against the economic, social and territorial consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and now plays a crucial role in the economic recovery process. I am pleased that these additional resources will strengthen the health sector and contribute significantly to a green, digital and cohesive recovery in Spain.”
Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, added: “Europe needs a recovery with a social justice component. The European Social Fund invests in people, and these additional funds will help those who need it most: young and old people, people who have lost their jobs and people with disabilities. European solidarity and investment will help lay the foundations for a fair and job-creating recovery.”
The ERDF multi-regional operational program will be boosted with additional resources of 890 million euros to contribute to the purchase of more than 34 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19, the organization of the vaccination process in Spain and investments in products and services for the health sector. The funds will also be used for investments that facilitate the transition to a green economy.
In Aragon, the ESF operational program will receive a further 25.5 million euros, which will be dedicated to the unemployed, the elderly and the disabled. The young unemployed and long-term unemployed will receive personalized support through guidance and training to improve their skills or learn new ones. The authorities will focus on training in emerging sectors to help people who have been particularly hard hit by the crisis. The funds will also strengthen the protection of vulnerable groups, for example by helping to improve care and social protection for the elderly, facilitating the provision of additional sign language interpreters to make services more easily accessible to the hearing impaired, and promoting adapted social transport projects.
In Murcia, the ESF operational program will receive a further 7.3 million euros to finance the recruitment of additional teaching staff during the pandemic and to put in place the necessary health and safety measures to allow face-to-face teaching in schools with smaller groups.
As part of the NextGenerationEU program, REACT-EU supplements cohesion policy programs with EUR 47.5 billion (EUR 50.6 billion in current prices) over 2021 and 2022. The measures focus on boosting labor market resilience, fostering employment, and supporting SMEs and low-income households, as well as on laying the foundations for a forward-looking double green and digital transition and a sustainable socio-economic recovery in line with the REACT-EU objectives and the 2020 country-specific recommendations for the country in question.
These additional resources should be used for projects that build crisis repair capacities in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as for investments in operations that help prepare for a green, digital and resilient recovery of the economy.
REACT-EU became effective on December 24, 2020 and can retroactively fund expenditures from February 1, 2020 through December 31, 2023.