MEPs adopted additional measures so that EU funding can be granted immediately and with exceptional flexibility to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Friday’s extraordinary plenary session, the European Parliament endorsed the “Corona Response Investment Initiative Plus” (CRII+) package proposed by the European Commission on 2 April by means of an urgency procedure.
Amongst the approved proposals:
Specific measures to guarantee the continued functioning of the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). Measures include the possibility to finance the provision of protective equipment for workers and volunteers, the temporary 100% co-financing from the EU budget and lighter reporting and audit measures during the COVID-19-crisis.
Following informal agreement with the Council, MEPs also approved changes that allow for aid to be delivered using new methods, such as through electronic or paper vouchers, to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the operations and to reach the most vulnerable and excluded. The approved measures aim to protect the most vulnerable people from falling victim to COVID-19 and to ensure that food aid and basic material assistance still reaches them, while respecting social distancing and personal protection. The amended proposal was adopted with 686 votes in favour, 7 against and 3 abstentions.
The Council has to formally approve Parliament's position. The adopted measures will enter into force once published in the Official Journal of the European Union in the coming days.