Adapting cohesion policy rules to respond to COVID-19

Author (Corporate)
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Series Details 02/2023
Publication Date February 2023
ISBN 978-92-847-9281-8
ISSN 1977-5679
EC QJ-AB-23-002-EN-N


We examined how the Commission adapted the rules to provide greater flexibility to Member States in using 2014-2020 cohesion policy funds in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that the Commission reacted promptly and largely adapted the rules well, facilitating the redirection of existing resources at a time of serious economic distress. The significant new resources brought in allowed Member States to fund additional investments, but also added to the pressure to spend the funds well. We recommend that the Commission analyse the impact of using cohesion funding to tackle crises on the long-term objectives of the policy, and monitor Member States’ spending to help them achieve performance targets.

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