Written answers

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Johnny MythenJohnny Mythen (Wexford, Sinn Fein)
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25. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the percentage of the EU recovery fund that will be allocated to Ireland; the amount that will be allocated to each sector; and the sectors involved. [7635/20]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The COVID-19 crisis is of such a scale that no nation can successfully address it alone. In this spirit, the EU has engaged in a series of unprecedented measures to address the health and socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. The European Commission is expected to present proposals for a revised MFF and a Recovery Fund linked to the MFF shortly. This revised MFF with a Recovery Fund will be the fourth pillar of the EU’s economic response to the pandemic. The first three pillars agreed by the Eurogroup and endorsed by the European Council on 23 April are the SURE guarantee for unemployment, the EIB guarantee fund for SMEs and ESM credit lines for Member States. At their meeting on 23 April, the European Heads of State and Government agreed to work towards establishing a Recovery Fund which “shall be of a sufficient magnitude, targeted towards the sectors and geographical parts of Europe most affected, and be dedicated to dealing with this unprecedented crisis”.

In her speech to the European Parliament on 13 May, Commission President von der Leyen set out the Commission thinking on the Recovery Fund which suggests that recovery planning will need to include massive public and private investment at European and national level. The entirety of the Recovery Fund will be channelled through EU programmes, both new and existing programmes which work well. President von der Leyen has also been consulting with EU leaders, including the Taoiseach, on the proposed Recovery Fund. It is not clear at this stage exactly how the Recovery Fund will be allocated to the different Member States, including Ireland, or which precise sectors will be covered. However, in her speech to the Parliament, the Commission President indicated that the Fund would be channelled through 3 pillars: a new Recovery and Resilience tool, plus top-ups to Cohesion, allocated based on the severity of the economic and social impacts of the crisis; a strengthened InvestEU and a new Strategic Investment Facility; and strengthened key programmes to address the COVID-19 crisis as well as a new health programme.

France and Germany also made a joint proposal for the design of the Fund based on the Commission borrowing €500 billion raised using the EU budget. This is only one proposal for the Fund, but I note its importance. The European Commission is due to release new proposals on the EU recovery fund today (27 May 2020) which will provide more detail. We will engage positively with the Commission’s proposals and work for early agreement.


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