Europe aims for sustainable recovery with the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 09 June 2021

The European Semester Spring Package aims to provide fiscal guidance to EU Member States as they reopen their economies.

This guidance will help Member States to make use of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and the NextGenerationEU, the EU’s largest ever stimulus package.

Fiscal policy will continue to provide support throughout 2021 and 2022, and Member States should make full use of RRF funding, which will help to support the EU’s economic recovery, create potential growth and employment opportunities, and improve public finance.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People, said: “We are presenting this ‘special edition' of the Spring Package at a pivotal moment, with our recovery around the corner but with the road ahead still paved with unknowns. We will therefore continue to use all tools to get our economies back on track. We are prolonging the general escape clause in 2022, with a view to deactivating it in 2023. We are encouraging Member States to maintain supportive fiscal policies this year and next, preserving public investment and making the most of the funding from the Recovery and Resilience Facility to boost growth.

Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, added: “At the Social Summit in Porto we defined Europe's social agenda for the next decade in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. The Employment Guidelines proposed today set common priorities for Member States, focusing on quality job creation, modernisation and inclusiveness of labour markets, education and training, as well as adequate social protection and health systems. Turning the Pillar's principles into action through the European Semester will contribute to Europe's resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery.”

When conditions improve, Member States should pursue policies that create fiscal sustainability. Reforms and investments under the RRF are expected to address challenges, particularly existing macroeconomic inequalities.

In terms of employment, guidelines adopted by the Commission in October 2020 have been updated to include sustainability and digital, reflecting the ‘Strong Social Europe for Just Transitions Communication’ report while integrating the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

These guidelines also address the COVID-19 crisis, providing specific guidance to decrease the social and employment impacts of the crisis.

Read the full press release on the Semester Spring Package and its role in the recovery here.

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