Answer to Written Question: Aid to compensate for the impact of traffic restrictions in the Rio Minho region

(Source: European Parliament)

Answer given by Ms Ferreira
on behalf of the European Commission

  1. The EU has taken measures to help Member States to mitigate the effects of the pandemic from the outset of the crisis. The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiatives (CRII)[1] and REACT-EU[2] provide for various measures to tackle the adverse consequences of this crisis already during the 2014-2020 period, including support for jobs and for businesses.

In addition to CRII[3], Member States already have or will soon have at their disposal a broad mix of instruments under the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 and under the EU recovery instrument NextGenerationEU, which forms the largest package ever financed by the EU budget. Under React-EU and the Recovery and Resilience Plans, the priorities and interventions are proposed at national level and negotiated with the Commission based on a partnership principle.

The Commission is aware of the particular challenges posed by closures in border regions and has commissioned a study of the effects[4] where the Euroregion Galicia-Norte is the subject of a case study[5]. Through the b-solutions initiative, in which the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation Rio Minho has participated, the Commission also provides targeted support to address cross-border obstacles more generally.

2. Health protection measures remain the responsibility of Member States[6]. The Commission has supported a coordinated COVID-19 response through various initiatives, notably green lanes[7], the EU Vaccine Strategy[8] and most recently the Digital Green Certificate[9]. In the framework of the programming of the additional resources available for the Member States through REACT-EU in Portugal[10], the European Funds will provide support both for the treatment and for the testing capacity to diagnose COVID-19.

[1] Regulation (EU) 2020/460 and Regulation (EU) 2020/558.

[2]  Regulation (EU) 2020/2021.

[3] which allowed the mobilisation of emergency support

[4] ISBN 978-92-76-28398-0

[5] ISBN 978-92-76-28400-0

[6] for example put in place various restrictions or forms of control like requesting COVID testing cf. Article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU; specific measures such as testing, contract tracing, etc. The Commission and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control have issued common guidance.

[7] C/2020/1897.

[8] COM/2020/245 final.

[9] COM/2021/130 final and COM/2021/129 final.

[10] besides the support for business affected by the crisis.

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