The European Union (EU) recognised the unprecedented situation, which has arisen as a result of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and is currently activating measures to help the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.
The EU Council has adopted two legislative acts to rapidly release funds from the EU budget to help tackle the COVID-19 crisis. One of the acts amends the rules governing the structural and investment funds and the other extends the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund. Given the urgency of the situation, both acts were published in the official journal of the EU on 31 March and entered into force on 1 April 2020.
The Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative of the EU gives member states access to €37 billion of cohesion money to strengthen healthcare systems, as well as support small- and medium-sized enterprises, short-term working schemes, and community-based services.