Opinion & Analysis

The European added value of the Recovery and Resilience Facility

An assessment of the Austrian, Belgian and German plans

Francesco Corti / Daniel Gros / Alessandro Liscai / Tomás Ruiz de la Ossa / Clemens Fuest / David Gstrein / Elena Herold / Mathias Dolls

The EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the central part of the NextGenerationEU programme, has raised expectations on a new push to turbocharge public investment in Europe following the severe economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper conducts an in-depth analysis of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) of Austria, Belgium, and Germany. Exploiting a detailed database that covers all the investments and reforms included in the NRRPs and building on insights from semi-structured expert interviews, we study their alignment with EU objectives, the additionality of the spending, and the cross-border effects. We find that all three NRRPs are well aligned with the objectives defined in the RRF Regulation but differ greatly in terms of additionality. Cross-border projects are only of limited importance. We finally highlight some missed opportunities for other cross-border projects.

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