Recovery fund: ministers welcome assessment of four more national plans

(Source: Council of the EU)

Economy and finance ministers today welcomed the assessment of national recovery and resilience plans for Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia. The Council will adopt its implementing decisions on the approval of these plans by written procedure shortly after the informal ministers’ meeting held today.

Following the formal adoption of the decisions, this second batch of member states will be able to use the facility’s funds to foster their economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. All four member states requested pre-financing from their allocated funds, which will be disbursed after the signing of bilateral grant and loan agreements.

“Good news for four more member states – Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia. Following the approval of first 12 decisions on national plans earlier this month, we swiftly continued our work so that these member states could start receiving support for implementing their planned reforms and investments as soon as possible. We have to make the best possible use of these funds to recover from the crisis and pave the way to a resilient, greener and more digital Europe.” -Andrej Šircelj, Slovenia’s Minister for Finance

The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the EU’s programme of large-scale financial support in response to the challenges the pandemic has posed to the European economy. The facility’s €672.5 billion will be used to support the reforms and investments outlined in the member states’ recovery and resilience plans.

Reforms and investments

The Council decisions are preceded by the Commission’s assessment of the national recovery and resilience plans. The plans have to comply with the 2019 and 2020 country-specific recommendations and reflect the EU’s general objective of creating a greener, more digital and more competitive economy.

The reforms and investments that Croatia plans to implement to reach these goals include improving water and waste management, a shift to sustainable mobility and financing digital infrastructures in remote rural areas. Cyprus intends, among other things, to reform its electricity market and facilitate the deployment of renewable energy, as well as to enhance connectivity and e-government solutions.

An increase in locally produced renewables, the green public procurement measures and further developing the rollout of very high capacity networks are some of the measures that Lithuania has included in its recovery and resilience plan. Slovenia plans to use a part of the allocated EU support to invest in sustainable transport, unlock the potential of renewable energy sources and further digitalise its public sector.

Next steps

Future disbursements from the facility will take place once the member states reach milestones and targets set for each investment and reform.

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