Protecting the EU’s recovery funds: MEPs on a fact-finding visit to Spain
A delegation the EP Budgetary Control Committee, led by chair Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), will travel to Madrid to look into disbursement of the EU’s recovery and resilience spending.
During their visit from 20-22 February, MEPs want to be informed first-hand on the implementation of Spain’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, including milestones and targets, and particularly the management, audit and control systems in place.
Spain was the first EU country to receive a payment of Next Generation EU funds in 2021.
MEPs are set to meet with several members of the Spanish government, including the First Vice-President and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation Nadia Calviño; Minister of Finance and Public Administration María Jesús Montero, and Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration José Luis Escrivá. They will also exchange views with the responsible regional ministers of Castilla-La Mancha, Comunidad de Madrid, Extremadura, Andalusia and Aragon, as well as with representatives of employers’ and workers’ associations, stakeholders of the digital industry, businesses and consulting industry and investigative press.
At the invitation of Spanish government members will also visit a project funded under the National Recovery Plan – the National Neurotechnology Centre in Spain.
“After the COVID-19 crisis, unprecedented amounts of funding became available to help EU economies recover. These funds are made available through a new performance based recovery and resilience facility (RRF). The system of control of EU funds for the RRF is not as established as for the EU cohesion or agricultural funding programmes. Spain was the first country to receive a payment of EUR 10 billion on the basis of achieved milestones, back in 2021. We, as representatives of EU budgetary control authority, want to see with our own eyes what is being done at Member State’s level to protect the EU’s financial interests in this new financial instrument”, said the Head of the delegation Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) ahead of the visit.
“We want to be informed about the systems for monitoring and control of the Facility, with a focus on audit, fraud prevention and detection, and cooperation with the EU Institutions. In our upcoming discharge report for the budgetary year 2021 we have already raised overall concerns about missing methodologies, a lack of transparency and other difficulties for the EU to check the implementation of RRF funds. These issues can leave the EU governments with a lot of liberty and does not guarantee that all funds are spend well across Member States”, Mrs Hohlmeier added.
Members of the delegation
Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, Germany), head of the delegation
Jose Manuel FERNANDES (EPP, Portugal)
Isabel GARCÍA MUÑOZ (S&D, Spain)
Caterina CHINNICI (S&D, Italy)
Jorge BUXADÉ VILLALBA (ECR, Spain)
Isabel Benjumea Benjumea (EPP, Spain)
Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D, Spain)
Eva Maria Poptcheva (RE, Spain)
Susana Solís Pérez (RE, Spain)
Ernest Urtasun (Greens, Spain)