After the compromise agreed last December by EU national leaders on the financial facility and on MFF 2021-2027, on 11 January 2021, the ECON committee of the European Parliament (EP) votes the EU Regulation on Recovery and Resilient Fund. Then, on 9 February it will be voted by the EP Assembly and later by the EU Council. Then, member states have four years to present the national spending plans. The amounts will be calculated and distributed on the basis of the population, the inverse of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and the relative unemployment rate of each Member State.
The European Parliament’s Economic Committee voted by majority the Proposal for Regulation on the European Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Fund to help Member States recover from the economic and budgetary crisis caused by the pandemic. Gardiazabal Rubial Eider (S-D), Mureşan Siegfried (PPE), Pîslaru Dragoș (Renew) are the three Rapporteurs of the European Parliament. Right-wing party members, as well as some from the far left, abstained or voted against. (Check here)
How can the funds be used?
The scope of application of the Recovery and Resilience Facility established by the new EU Regulation shall refer to:
- policy areas related to economic, social and territorial cohesion
- the green and digital transitions
- competitiveness, resilience and productivity
- education and skills
- research and innovation
- smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
- jobs and investment
- the stability of the financial systems
This is a large range of possible interventions, even if Green economy and digitalization are the strategic objectives to prepare Europe for the next decades.
Loans or non-repayable?
The €600 billion will be available both as loans and as a grant. In both cases, the Regulation under discussion and being voted today indicates the conditions for drawing on these financial resources.
After approval by the European Parliament next 9 February 2021 and then by the EU Council, the Regulation will be in force and the governments of the 27 EU countries are expected to present their projects by spring, so that the disbursements begin shortly.