Deal reached on EU fund to help regions and businesses adapt to Brexit
EU legislators reached a political agreement on Thursday 17 June on the 5 billion euro Brexit Adjustment Reserve, paving the way for a first payment by December.
With a budget of 5 billion euro (in 2018 prices – 5.4 billion euro in current prices), the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) will focus on countries and sectors worst affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
A first instalment of 1.6 billion euro in pre-financing will be available by December 2021. Two other pre-financing tranches of 1.6 billion euro will be paid at the beginning of 2022 and 2023. The remaining 1 billion euro will be paid in 2025.
According to the provisional agreement, three factors will be used to calculate how much money each EU country will receive from the BAR: the importance of trade with the UK, the importance of fisheries in the UK exclusive economic zone and the population living in maritime regions bordering the UK.
Ireland will be by far the largest beneficiary in absolute terms, followed by the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium.
Member states that depend significantly on fisheries will have to direct a specific percentage of their national allocation to small-scale coastal fisheries and local and regional communities dependent on fishing activities.
Parliament agreed with Council on an extension of the eligibility period to cover expenditure incurred between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2023 for measures specifically taken to mitigate the expected negative effects of Brexit. The Commission’s proposal limited this period to between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022.
Measures supported by the BAR have to be specifically set up in relation to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. These may include:
– support to businesses (especially SMEs), the self-employed and local communities;
– investments in job creation and reintegration in the labour market, including short-term work programmes, retraining and training courses;
– support to help citizens returning from the UK as a consequence of Brexit to reintegrate;
– support to the functioning of border, customs, health, phytosanitary and security controls, fisheries controls, certification and licensing schemes.