EU post-pandemic recovery plan submission deadline arrives

Brussels, Apr 30 (EFE).- The deadline given by the European Commission for European Union countries to submit their post-pandemic recovery and resilience plans ends Friday with submissions already made by Germany, France, Slovakia, Greece and Portugal, and announced by Spain and Italy.

Slovakia and France delivered their plans on Thursday, while Germany and Greece did so on Wednesday, while Portugal, which holds the rotating EU presidency, did so on Apr. 22.

After congratulating the countries that have submitted their plans, Portuguese Prime Minister Antònio Costa announced Thursday on Twitter that the presidency “will schedule the approval of the first plans” on June 18, when economy and finance ministers of the bloc will meet.

He also said that he is willing to hold a second extraordinary meeting in the last week of June to approve the second set of national packages.

“We cannot waste more time, we must launch recovery,” Costa stressed.

Each submission has been welcomed by EC president Ursula von der Leyen with a summary and message of encouragement on her Twitter account.

According to the Commission, Slovakia has applied for €6.6 billion in grants and is structured around five key policy priorities: the green economy, education, R&D and innovation, health and public administration/digitization.

France has requested €40.9 billion to be structured around the three pillars of resilience, ecology and digital transformation.

Germany’s plan includes reforms and investments worth €27.9 billion (slightly more than the €25.6 billion that correspond to the fund, a surplus that Berlin will pay) around six priorities: climate, digitization, infrastructure and education, social participation, health system reinforcement, modernization of the administration and reduction of investment barriers.

Greece, which has requested €30.5 billion from the fund (€17.8 billion in grants and €12.7 billion in loans) includes measures in the areas of ecology, digitization, employment, social cohesion, private investment and economic and institutional transformation.

Portugal, which aims to receive €13.9 billion in grants and €2.7 billion in loans, has also structured its proposal around the pillars established by the recovery fund, including measures for social housing, energy efficiency and digital schooling.

The official delivery of the plans was preceded by months of negotiations between national governments and the EC, which now has until the end of June to evaluate the reforms and investments proposed to use the €750 billion (€800 billion in current prices) fund.

The Commission will need the two months foreseen in the legislation to evaluate documents that in many cases have thousands of pages. Once it gives its approval, individual States have another four weeks to endorse their plans.

But for the aid to begin to be delivered to the countries, it is essential that all ratify the legislation that will allow the EC to borrow in the markets to finance the fund, and there are eight to do so.

Brussels plans to disburse the first aid in July. EFE


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