EC proposes funding boost for EU countries, including Bulgaria, receiving Ukrainian refugees

To support EU countries welcoming and accommodating refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine, the European Commission (EC) proposed on March 23 to increase by 3.4 billion euro the total pre-financing from the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU), the EC said in a statement.

Once adopted by the European Parliament and EU ministers, this immediate injection of liquidity, in combination with the flexibility introduced by Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE), will speed-up member states’ access to funds to spend on infrastructure, housing, equipment and services in employment, education, social inclusion, healthcare and childcare, the EC said.

European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “The illegal and unjustified invasion by Russia has forced more than three million Ukrainians to flee their country, and this number is growing by the day.

“Member states and civil society have shown remarkable solidarity and the EU is stepping up its action to ensure that the necessary support reaches all those who are hosting them,” Ferreira said.

“This is why, after the CARE proposal, cohesion policy will advance 3.4 billion euro from REACT-EU to member states, notably those in the frontline, to help meet their needs. We stand with the people of Ukraine and we will continue to back member states in welcoming all those fleeing the war,” she said.

For all EU countries, the EC is proposing to increase pre-financing from 11 per cent to 15 per cent of the 2021 REACT-EU tranche.

For frontline EU countries (Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and member states that have received the highest number of arrivals from Ukraine in proportion to their national population (above one per cent between February 24 2022 and March 23 – Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Estonia), the Commission is proposing to increase the percentage to 45 per cent.

This total increase in pre-financing equals 3.4 billion euro to be paid to member states on approval of the proposal by co-legislators, the EC said.

As the number of people fleeing the war is increasing by the hour and member states are currently in the process of registering people, the situation is very dynamic, the Commission said.

To create a situational picture approximating the pressure with which member states are being confronted due to the large scale of arrivals, the Commission calculated the share of arrivals relative to the population based on information from member states obtained through the Blueprint Network, international organisations, and other reliable open sources, the EC said.

(Photo, of refugees from Russia’s war on Ukraine entering Poland: UNHCR/Chris Melzer)

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, please click here.

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