Following the coronavirus pandemic, the European Commission launched a comprehensive and ambitious recovery plan. The Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU) programme will provide additional funding for sectors that will be crucial to lay the basis for a sound recovery. REACT-EU continues and expands the previous Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative.

REACT-EU adds EUR 47.5 billion to the 2014-2020 ESIF programmes and is additional to the cohesion allocations for 2021-2027. The allocation of this budget to the Member States takes into account the economic and social impact of the crisis on the EU countries, reflecting the GDP drop and rise of unemployment including among young people, as well as the relative wealth of the countries.

To provide the maximum possible assistance to the Member States, the implementing conditions for these additional resources are generous and flexible. No national co-financing is required for this funding. That means that the EU will provide 100% support if Member States so wish. To ensure support is delivered quickly, REACT has a high level of pre-financing (50%) and the scope of support is wide.

These additional resources will be distributed to Member States in 2021 and 2022 mainly from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF).

What is the relevance for Circular Cities?

REACT-EU has a wide thematic scope. This makes the programme relevant for different types of Circular City initiatives. From the ERDF, the additional resources shall primarily be used to support investment in products and services for health services and to provide support in the form of working capital or investment support to SMEs. Circular City initiatives that serve as start-up incubators or act as living labs for circular businesses can draw the attention of their partners to REACT-EU calls for proposals.

Circular City initiatives that focus on much-affected sectors like tourism can be eligible for funding via the ESF. From this fund, REACT-EU aims to support job maintenance, job creation and youth employment measures. Also programmes on circular skills development might be eligible for REACT-EU support.

How to apply?

Application for REACT-EU funding is only possible via national or regional authorities. An overview of managing authorities is provided here external link icon.