The aim of the evaluation is to assess the use of the REACT-EU funds allocated to Hungary under Regulation 2020/2221/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 December 2020 (hereinafter referred to as REACT-EU) to support the response to the pandemic and its social consequences and to prepare for a green, digital and resilient economic recovery. The REACT-EU funds should be used within the 2014-20 programmes, either by complementing existing operational programmes or by creating a new programme. The REACT-EU funds can be used until the end of 2023, irrespective of the category of region, including the Central Hungary Region and Budapest, with 0% domestic co-financing, to cover costs incurred after 1 February 2020.
The evaluation covers three operational programmes: the HRDOP, the EDIOP and the EEEOP. 10 schemes are evaluated, 5 HRDOP, 2 EDIOP and 3 EEEOP. The main areas of intervention are calls directly related to COVID-19: promotion of the health sector and promotion of firms affected by the pandemic; assistance to refugees from Ukraine, calls related to addressing the consequences of climate change on water management and promotion of the energy sector- fostering green transition.
Overall, the experience is that the more flexible use of cohesion funds, the more flexible rules and the faster response to problems have been well received by both applicants and managing authorities. Experience shows that measures that have worked well are those that have built on the experience of previous schemes. In view of the tight deadlines for the absorption of funds, where no previously developed programme was available, absorption was not fully successful.