BRUSSELS – EU High Representative Josep Borrell says diverting money for the needs of mitigation of the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic does not mean that EU partner countries will lose the funds previously allocated to them.
“No country will lose the money previously allocated to them by the EU because of the relocation of funds to what we now see as a priority. The level of EU help for everyone will stay the same, and the amount that can be diverted to each country will depend on the degree of implementation of the program,” Borrell said, Tanjug reports.
Earlier, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi stated that the EU had “identified an additional €290 million” to aid the socio-economic recovery of the Western Balkans following the COVID-19 pandemic, Al Jazeera reports.
“With more than €700 million, the Union will support the fight against coronavirus in the Western Balkans,” Várhelyi wrote on his Twitter account.
Over €700 million of #EU support in the fight against #coronavirus will go to #WesternBalkans: €38m for immediate needs, €374m in reallocated bilateral assistance & additional €290m have been identified to help socio-economic recovery of the region. https://t.co/K1e74M65qd pic.twitter.com/4CXUYZ0vxG
— Oliver Varhelyi (@OliverVarhelyi) April 8, 2020
“For the immediate needs €38 million, €374 million in reallocated bilateral assistance, and an additional €290 million have been identified to help the socio-economic recovery of the region,” Várhelyi wrote.
In Brussels, they explain that funds to help Western Balkan countries fight COVID-19 are diverted from existing pre-accession assistance (IPA) funds.