The European Commission welcomes the European Parliament's vote today, confirming the political agreement reached on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) Regulation in December 2020. This marks an important step towards making €672.5 billion in loans and grants available to Member States to support reforms and investments.
The RRF is the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU, the EU's plan for emerging stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will play a crucial role in helping Europe recover from the economic and social impact of the pandemic and will help to make the EU's economies and societies more resilient and secure the green and digital transitions.
Recovery and resilience plans
The approval of the European Parliament paves the way for the RRF to come into force in the second half of February. Member States will then be able to officially submit their national recovery and resilience plans, which will be assessed by the Commission and adopted by the Council. The recovery and resilience plans set out the reforms and public investment projects that will be supported by the RRF. The Commission is already engaged in intensive dialogue with all Member States on the preparation of these plans.
Pre-financing of 13% of the total amount allocated to Member States will be made available once recovery and resilience plans are approved, to ensure that RRF financing arrives where it is needed as quickly as possible.
Structure and objectives of the Recovery and Resilience Facility
The RRF is structured around six pillars: green transition; digital transformation; economic cohesion, productivity and competitiveness; social and territorial cohesion; health, economic, social and institutional resilience; policies for the next generation.
It will help the EU achieve its target of climate neutrality by 2050 and set it on a path of digital transition, creating jobs and spurring growth in the process. A minimum of 37% of expenditure on investments and reforms contained in each national recovery and resilience plan should support climate objectives. A minimum of 20% of expenditure on investments and reforms contained in each national plan should support the digital transition.
It will also help Member States effectively address the challenges identified in relevant country-specific recommendations under the European Semester framework of economic and social policy coordination.
The Council now also needs to formally approve the agreement reached, before the Presidents of the ECOFIN Council and the European Parliament can sign it. The Regulation will then be published in the Official Journal, allowing it to enter into force on the day after publication. The Commission expects all the necessary formal steps to be concluded in time for the RRF to enter into force in the second half of February.
Members of the College said:
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Defeating the virus thanks to vaccines is essential. But we also need to help citizens, businesses and communities exit the economic crisis. The Recovery and Resilience Facility will bring €672.5 billion to do just that. It will invest in making Europe greener, more digital, more resilient, for everyone's long term benefit. I welcome the positive vote by the European Parliament as an important step towards activating the Recovery and Resilience Facility.”
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “This Facility provides EU countries with a unique chance to rebuild and revamp their economies for the post-COVID world. It is an opportunity build resilience and to embrace a more digital and greener future. That requires both the right investments and the right reforms. To recover from the crisis and meet the challenges of the 21st century, Member States should seize the opportunity of the RRF funding to free their economies of bottlenecks and refresh outdated policies and practices. We call on Member States to continue working closely with the Commission on compiling robust and credible recovery and resilience plans so we can start disbursing the funding as soon as possible. I thank the European Parliament for its support and the speed with which it has approved the RRF.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “Today's vote in the European Parliament brings us a step closer to the Recovery and Resilience Facility entering into force. Driven by the terrible shock of the pandemic, Europe has taken a historic step. We have done something that was unthinkable just one year ago: the creation of a common instrument, funded by common debt, to achieve a common goal. For several months the Commission has been working hard with governments as they draw up their recovery and resilience plans. Now we must all intensify our efforts and make sure we seize this unique opportunity to change our economies, for the common good of all Europeans.”