(Source: European Commission)
The European Commission has today endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Spain’s second payment request for €12 billion in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.
On 30 April 2022, Spain submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 40 milestones and targets laid out in the Council Implementing Decision for the second instalment. They cover investments and reforms in the areas of green and just transition, the labour market, pensions, regulated professions, digital connectivity and R&D. Other areas covered are healthcare, education, support to vulnerable groups, entrepreneurship and micro-enterprises, prevention of tax fraud and green taxation, as well as effective and sustainable public spending.
With their request, the Spanish authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of all the 40 milestones and targets. As required by the RRF Regulation, Spain has also confirmed that measures related to previously satisfactorily fulfilled milestones and targets have not been reversed. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
The recovery and resilience plan of Spain includes a wide range of investment and reform measures in 30 thematic components. The plan will be supported by €69.5 billion in grants, 13% of which (€9 billion) was disbursed to Spain in pre-financing on 17 August 2022. Moreover, a first payment worth €10 billion was disbursed to Spain on 27 December 2021.
Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Member States implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.
The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of Spain’s fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this second payment to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC’s opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission’s assessment. Following the EFC’s opinion, the Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the disbursement to Spain can take place.
The Commission will assess further payment requests by Spain based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.
The amounts disbursed to the Member States are published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard, which shows progress of the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans.
Members of the College said:
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “Today, I have good news for Spain. We believe that Spain has made sufficient progress in the implementation of its national recovery plan to receive a second payment from Next Generation EU. Once Member States have given their green light, Spain will receive €12 billion. Spain is showing continued reform momentum in key policy areas, such as the labour market and public finances sustainability. So, congratulations to Spain! The way to recovery continues. The Commission stands by your side along that road.”
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People said: “Another step forward for Spain as it fulfils the next 40 milestones and targets set out in its recovery and resilience plan – congratulations. With this second payment request, Spain is continuing to press ahead with its agenda of reforms and investments: in energy-efficient renovation and 5G mobile communication, for example, along with labour market reforms as well as steps to prevent tax fraud. Once the Commission’s assessment is reviewed and approved by Member States, Spain should receive €12 billion in grants to help make its economy recover further.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “Today we confirm the significant progress Spain is making in implementing its ambitious recovery and resilience plan. Once the relevant procedures are finalised, Spain can look forward to receiving €12 billion in grants to support future-oriented investments for strong and sustainable growth. The forty measures assessed for this payment request include transformative labour market reforms, agreed with social partners: these should lead to more stable jobs and investment in human capital, while maintaining the necessary flexibility for both workers and firms. The package also includes the first part of the pension reforms foreseen in the plan, which will in particular support pensioners’ purchasing power while aligning the effective and legal retirement ages. Our assessment also confirms progress towards the implementation of investments related to the green and digital transition, research and development, healthcare, education and sustainable tourism. ¡Enhorabuena España!”