Commission welcomes approval of Recovery and Resilience Facility
The European Commission has welcomed the European Parliament's vote confirming the political agreement reached on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) Regulation in December 2020. This marks an important step as part of €672.5 billion in loans and grants which will be made available to Member States to support reforms and investments.
The RRF is the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU, the EU's plan for emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic stronger. It will play a crucial role in helping Europe to recover from the economic and social impact of the pandemic, and will help to make the EU's economies and societies more resilient and secure in the green and digital transitions.
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Defeating the virus thanks to vaccines is essential. But we also need to help citizens, businesses and communities to exit the economic crisis. The Recovery and Resilience Facility will bring €672.5 billion to do just that. It will invest in making Europe greener, more digital, more resilient, for everyone's long-term benefit. I welcome the positive vote by the European Parliament as an important step towards activating the Recovery and Resilience Facility.”
Recovery and resilience plans
The approval of the European Parliament paves the way for the RRF to come into force in the second half of February. Member States will then be able to officially submit their national recovery and resilience plans, which will be assessed by the Commission and adopted by the Council. The recovery and resilience plans will set out reforms and public investment projects that will be supported by the RRF. The Commission is already engaged in intensive dialogue with all Member States on the preparation of these plans.
Pre-financing of 13% of the total amount allocated to Member States will be made available once recovery and resilience plans are approved, to ensure that RRF financing arrives where it is needed as quickly as possible.
The structure and objectives of the Recovery and Resilience Facility
The RRF is structured around six pillars: the green transition; digital transformation; economic cohesion, productivity and competitiveness; social and territorial cohesion; health, economic, social and institutional resilience; and policies for the next generation.
It will help the EU to achieve its target of climate neutrality by 2050 and set it on a path of digital transition, creating jobs and spurring growth in the process. A minimum of 37% of expenditure on investments and reforms contained in each national recovery and resilience plan should support climate objectives, while a minimum of 20% should support the digital transition.
The RRF will also help Member States to effectively address the challenges identified in relevant country-specific recommendations under the European Semester framework of economic and social policy coordination.
The Council now also needs to formally approve the agreement reached, before the Presidents of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) and the European Parliament can sign it.
The Regulation will then be published in the Official Journal, allowing it to enter into force the day after publication. The Commission expects all the necessary formal steps to be concluded in time for the RRF to enter into force in the second half of February.
Read the full document here.