The European Commission announced that Portugal will receive 37.5 million euros in advance payments, through the European Union’s solidarity fund, to help tackle “the covid-19 outbreak and its effects”.
In a press release, the European Commission stated that, “following the request for help to deal with the covid-19 outbreak and its effects”, it will give 37.5 million euros to Portugal in “advance payments”.
“This is an advance payment, as requested by the Portuguese government, and is pending the assessment of the application submitted, not anticipating the final amount” foreseen for Portugal, underlines the community executive, in a note to Lusa.
The announcement comes after, in June, Portugal submitted an application to the European solidarity fund to the community executive to mitigate the economic effects caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement published at the time, the Government referred to having submitted a request for “support for eligible expenses in the amount of 3.5 billion euros”.
The request included State expenses related to “medical equipment and devices, laboratory tests, personal protective equipment, reinforcement of the resources of the National Health Service and reinforcement of the Continuing Care network”, the statement emphasized.
In addition to Portugal, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Croatia and Hungary also used the solidarity fund for the same reasons, and the Commission announced this Friday that it allocated a total of 132.7 million euros to the seven countries.
The Community executive is now in the process of evaluating the applications submitted by the Member States and, only when that evaluation is complete, “a proposal will be made with the final figures”.
Cited in the press note, the Portuguese commissioner, Elisa Ferreira – with the portfolio of Cohesion and Reforms -, said that the funds announced today are “another important proof of what EU solidarity means, the heart of the European project”.
It is now up to the European Parliament (EP) and the European Council to approve the funds announced so that financial aid can be released.
Created in 2002, the EU Solidarity Fund is normally mobilized for countries plagued by natural disasters. However, due to the exceptional situation caused by the covid-19 pandemic, it has since been extended to deal with health emergencies.
In April, Portugal received 8.2 million euros through this mechanism, following the damage caused by Hurricane Lorenzo in the autonomous region of the Azores.