National recovery plans must help modernise EU member state economies
The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility, the Union’s largest ever package of economic support, must make the EU more resilient, more competitive, and more just.
On Wednesday, MEPs hosted a plenary debate with Commissioners Dombrovskis and Gentiloni, and Minister Logar of the Slovenian Council presidency on the Resilience and Recovery Funds. During the debate, MEPs highlighted how indispensable efficient and transparent monitoring were to the success of these national plans. This would ensure the funds are used to modernise member state economies, that they are spent on sustainable projects, and that they alleviate the impact on citizens of the pandemic-induced economic crisis. Many MEPs also called for transparency and online tools which would show how national plans were progressing as well as the final beneficiaries of funding.
A majority of MEPs restated their position that respect for EU values and the rule of law should be a condition for receiving EU funding. Some speakers, however, voiced concerns about increased debt levels and of member states being politically blackmailed in return for funding and treated unequally.
Both Commissioners agreed that the Recovery and Resilience Facility and its objectives need more visibility, and in this context pointed to Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard launched by the Commission today.
Currently 22 of the 26 submitted national recovery plans have been approved. The Dutch plan has not yet been submitted and the Commission has not yet approved the Hungarian, Polish, Swedish and Bulgarian plans. Requested pre-financing of €52.3 billion has already been disbursed to 17 member states. Spain is expected to be the first member state to receive 10 billion euro in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) as the Commission assessed that the country has achieved most of the milestones linked to this first payment request.