On 16 March, the Council of the European Union endorsed a legislative proposal that will mobilise cohesion policy funding to assist refugees fleeing Russia’s military aggression.
The Cohesion Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) regulation was proposed by the European Commission on 8 March. It introduces extra flexibility in reallocation of funding of several European funds. According to Joël Giraud, French minister for territorial cohesion and relations with territorial communities, the swift release of cohesion resources for displaced persons will allow member states, especially those on the frontline of the crisis, to urgently allocate funding to help displaced Ukrainians as much as possible.
“The European Union has already welcomed nearly three million displaced persons, mostly women and children, fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A place to stay, essential necessities, access to healthcare, transport, education and employment – Europe has to abide by its values for the Ukrainian people,” said Giraud.
The measure will also reinforce member states’ ongoing efforts to tackle the extended impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bearing in mind the urgency of the human and economic impact of the refugee inflow, the Council decided to endorse the text of the proposal without amendment. The European Parliament is also expected to use the urgent procedure for the approval of the proposal. The legislative act is expected to be adopted in early April and will enter into force with immediate effect.