Cohesion Funds worth €40bn for household, business aid

The European Commission’s energy crisis plan includes a proposal enabling EU member state governments to redirect some of their Cohesion Fund money to support households and businesses, sources have informed ahead of Thursday’s EU summit.

According to a Bloomberg report, the EU plans to propose using as much as 40 billion euros from the bloc’s budget to support people and companies struggling to cope with high prices caused by the energy crisis.

However, it is estimated that this amount would not suffice to cover the EU-27’s needs this coming winter.

According to Bloomberg, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, will offer governments the ability to tap existing cohesion funds to support small- and medium-sized companies affected by the price hike of gas and electricity and to help vulnerable households pay their energy bills through national programs.

Other package proposals aimed at countering high energy prices are expected to include a supplementary gas contract in early 2023; voluntary collective gas purchases by member states for greater bargaining power; and a solidarity mechanism for emergency gas supply by fellow member states able to provide cover, at fair price levels, to member states short of sufficiency levels during the forthcoming winter.