Council gives green light to first recovery disbursements

EU economic and finance ministers today adopted the first batch of Council implementing decisions on the approval of national recovery and resilience plans. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain got the green light for the use of EU recovery and resilience funds to boost their economies and recover from the COVID-19 fallout. The adoption of Council implementing decisions on the approval of the plans permits the member states to sign grant and loan agreements that will allow for up to 13% pre-financing.

The Council received a positive assessment for the 12 member states’ plans from the Commission in June, accompanied by the proposals for the Council decisions on their approval. All 12 member states asked for pre-financing from their allocated funds. The decisions the Council adopted today are the final step before the member states can conclude grant and loan agreements with the Commission and start receiving funds to implement their national plans.

The EU financial assistance from the €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility aims to power the European economic recovery by supporting member states’ reforms and investment projects. The measures approved in the national plans are centred around six policy areas (‘pillars’) set out in the regulation establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The areas include the green and digital transition, smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and social and territorial cohesion.

Individual member states’ measures to achieve recovery and enhance the EU’s resilience include, for example, decarbonisation of industry, building renovation, digitalisation of public administration and reskilling of the labour force. The plans also address the country-specific recommendations identified in the course of the 2019 and 2020 European Semester discussions.

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