On 13.07.2021, the Council of the European Union adopted the first set of decisions enabling Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and France to use European Union funds for recovery from the effects of Covid-19. These countries can sign grant and loan agreements that will allow for pre-financing of up to 13%.
The European Union's financial support under the Mechanism for Recovery and Sustainability amounts to EUR 672,5 billion. It aims to stimulate European economic recovery by supporting Member States' reforms and investment projects. The Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism is a key pillar of Europe's recovery plan from the social and economic consequences of the measures taken to curb Covid-19.
States can receive support under the Mechanism for Recovery and Sustainability after submitting their plans to the Commission. The Commission shall evaluate them and may propose that a decision be taken on their approval. Once the Council has taken a decision, Member States may sign bilateral financing agreements with the Commission and receive the agreed pre-financing within two months.
Measures are approved in the national plans, which focus on the six policy pillars set out in the Regulation establishing a Mechanism for Recovery and Sustainability - Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth and Jobs; digital transformation; next generation policies; health and sustainability; social and territorial unity and green transition. Measures in the plans of individual countries include decarbonisation of industry, renovation of buildings, digitalization of public administration, retraining of the workforce. The plans reflect country-specific recommendations.
The countries had the opportunity to present their draft plans until 15.10.2020, after which they were discussed with the Commission. Until 30.04.2021, the countries had a deadline to submit their plans, after which the Commission evaluated them and presented them to the Parliament and the Council. On the basis of a proposal from the Commission, the Council of the European Union shall evaluate and adopt the plans. After the countries can receive pre-financing - up to 13%. In the event of significant non-compliance with the rules, the Council of the European Union may suspend payments.
Countries report twice a year during the European Semester. The Commission shall report on the implementation of Parliament and the Council. It is planned to conduct independent evaluations in 2024 and until 2028.
Source: Council of the EU.
adv. Kamelia Yotova