On 31 March 2021, the First (the Fund for Investments in Scientific and Technological Research) portal, managed by ARTER, published the summary of the new data on the performance of the European Structural and Investment Funds related to the reform of cohesion policy, which is part of the 2014-2020 multiannual financial framework.

The Commission has identified progress in the financing and implementation of the financial instruments supported by the Funds: thanks to their support, it appears that by the end of 2019 the funding provided to beneficiaries – mostly SMEs – will have amounted to more than EUR 15 billion, or around 7% of the total allocation of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Cohesion Fund for the period 2014-2020.

The summary also includes some preliminary data on the use of the financial instruments foreseen to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is evident that the COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the allocation of public funds: in particular, the economic difficulties have led to a change in the focus of funding on other priorities than those previously identified.

The economic difficulties in particular have led to a shift in focus of funding towards other priorities than those previously identified. With this in mind, amendments have been made to specific rules of the Community and Fund clauses, which have considerably simplified support for working capital through grants and financial instruments.

In this regard, the extraordinary crisis-related interventions from COVID-19 – circulating in the form of financial instruments supported by European Structural and Investment Funds – have already reached EUR 4.7 billion.