MEPs approve €6.2 billion to tackle crisis and speed up vaccine deployment

Updated on

  • EU budget 2020 to be increased by €6.2 billion
  • €1.1 billion to develop and deploy a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Cohesion funds will be reinforced with €5.1 billion

The funds will allow the EU to improve its chances of having an effective and safe vaccine available as soon as possible, and to step up COVID-19-related cohesion funding.

Cohesion funds will be topped up with €5.1 billion to ensure that requests for reimbursements from member states for actions taken under the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus (CRII+) can be covered. The CRII+ was created to relax the cohesion spending rules to increase flexibility, whereas the CRII redirected unspent money from the EU budget to tackling the COVID-19 crisis.

The vaccine-related €1.1 billion will increase payments for the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), a significant part of which is used to secure the production of vaccines in the EU and sufficient supplies for its member states. This is part of the European Commission’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy.

Parliament approved the proposal with 643 votes in favour, 29 against and 14 abstentions.