EURADA contributed to the European Alliance against Coronavirus debate during a webinar organised by the European Clusters Alliance on the 19th of May 2020. This association represents over 700 clusters in 12 Member States. During the webinar, Mrs Tereza Krausova from the European Commission (DG REGIO), presented the mobilisation of resources and flexibility rules of the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiatives (CRII and CRII+). These regulations already approved by the European Parliament and the Council mobilise European Structural and Investment Funds of the Cohesion policy to facilitate the expenditures in health-related investments and the general economic recovery (e.g. supporting working capital for SMEs).
Mr Marek Przeor from the European Commission (DG GROW) gave an overview of the needs and the investments taking place in the main European Countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. He provided examples of implemented programmes, using mainly ERDF resources. EURADA provided a general vision of how European Development Agencies shifted their priorities to address the current challenges. Specific examples from Agencia Idea Andalucia, ADI Nouevelle Aquitaine, MARR from Malopolska, and ADR Centru from Romania were mentioned. EURADA made a plea to implement measures for the flexibility of the management of structural funds without increasing the bureaucracy involved using advanced ICT technologies. Following the suggestion from Antonio Novo, President of the European Clusters Alliance and Jorge González, Director from TicBioMed, there will be stronger cooperation between clusters and regional development agencies to design economic recovery plans.
The European Alliance against Coronavirus has been meeting since March 2020 every weekday at 8h30 via Go to Meet application, and on Saturdays and Sundays at 9h30 through the same link. Each day there is a keynote speaker and a debate about practical aspects: finance, shortage of health equipment, R&I, skills, social economy, etc. You can find all the previous meetings and recordings at the ECCP Covid-19 Forum.