Today, the Commission has endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s payment request for €662 million in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.
On 25 September 2023, Slovakia submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 21 milestones and six targets set out in the Council Implementing Decision, for the third instalment.
These cover a set of transformative reforms aimed at improving the legal framework for the promotion of renewables, promoting the green renovation of buildings, setting up an industry decarbonisation scheme and ensuring a more effective application of existing nature protection rules.
The reforms also include the preparation of a strategy to guide the economy’s digital transition, the country’s Research Development and Innovation policy and funding, the launch of new calls to enhance the cooperation between academic researchers and businesses, and the improvement of the accessibility and quality of the education system, especially pre-primary education. The payment request also covers important investments to create new Digital Innovation Hubs and to ensure the greening of the national police force vehicle fleet, with the provision of electric and hybrid vehicles.
With their request, the Slovakian authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the satisfactory fulfilment of 21 milestones and six targets. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
The Slovakian recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures organised in 19 thematic components. The plan will be financed by €6.4 billion in grants. To date, Slovakia has already received €1.9 billion. This includes €823 million in pre-financing disbursed on 13 October 2021. Another €399 million was disbursed to Slovakia on 29 July 2022, following the positive assessment of the first payment request, and another €709 million was disbursed to Slovakia on 22 March 2023, following the positive assessment of the second payment request.
Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Member States implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.
The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets related to this payment request to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC’s opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission’s assessment. Following the EFC’s opinion, the Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the disbursement to Slovakia can take place.
The Commission will assess further payment requests by Slovakia based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision approving the plan, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.
The amounts disbursed to the Member States are published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard, which shows progress of the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans.
Members of the College said
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said:
“I am very pleased to announce positive news for Slovakia. Through our assessment today, we see that Slovakia continues to make good progress in the implementation of its national recovery and resilience plan. Once Member States have agreed, Slovakia will receive €662 million. This will help finance further reforms and investments in renewables, the digital transition and bolstering Slovakia’s education system. Výborne, Slovensko! We stand ready to continue to support your recovery.”