20. März 2020

Letter to Commissioner Ferreira and Hahn


Ms. Ursula von der Leyen

President of the European Commission

Ms. Elisa Ferreira

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

Mr. Johannes Hahn

Commissioner for Budget and Administration

Brussels, 20 March 2020

Dear Commissioner Hahn, Dear Commissioner Ferreira,                                                             

our economy and society have to tackle new challenges nowadays, due to the massive impacts of the measures taken to limit the outbreak of the coronavirus. We cannot lose more time with individual decisions taken by the Member States. We would like to thank you for your efforts and actions to combat the consequences of COVID-19. Furthermore, we would like to assure you that we are doing our utmost to keep on speed and facilitate the swift adoption of the legislative proposals that have been referred to the European Parliament by the EU Commission last Friday.

While we overall welcome the inclusion of public health emergency under the scope of the regulation of the EU Solidarity Fund as well as the increase of advance payments from 10% up to 25% of the amount of the financial contribution anticipated, we have severe concerns as to its practicability in case the underpinning payment appropriations will not be increased by more than additional 50 million Euro for the current budgetary year. Given the fact that all European regions will suffer and have to support their economies and civil society immediately as well as in the nearest future to cope the huge negative impacts, the proposed amount is not sufficient.

Taking into account the potential amount available in the EU budget for the year 2020 under the flexibility mechanism/margins that could be mobilised, we consider that the EU Commission should revisit its announcement to make additional 50 million Euro available for advance payments in view of meeting an increased number of applications by Member States following the adoption of the amendment to the EU Solidarity Fund. In our view, we are convinced that the amounts requested for advance payments would largely exceed 100 million Euro which would be available in accordance with the EU Commission’s announcement.

We are therefore requesting you to significantly increase appropriations for advance payments going well beyond additional 50 million Euro in order to reach the maximum amount of the EUSF envelope (500Mio in 2011 prices) and to explore further measures, including a fast-track revision of the current MFF to make additional resources available.

Sincerely yours,

Rasmus Andresen
Budget Coordinator of the Greens/Efa

Niklas Nienass
REGI Coordinator of the Greens/Efa