Tuesday, October 19

Brussels approves Spain’s “ambitious” recovery plan

Ursula von der Leyen.

Ursula von der Leyen.

Freeway from Brussels to Recovery and Resilience Plan prepared by the Spanish Government. After an exhaustive examination and months of negotiations and dialogue with Madrid, the European Commission has given the green light to the plan that will allow the Government access in the next six years to 69,500 million euros in non-refundable grants, out of the 140,000 million allocated Spain in the Next Generation EU program. According to the schedule provided by Brussels, Spain could receive a total of 19,000 million this year.

The Commission has described the plan presented by Spain as “ambitious”, which includes 109 investment projects and a commitment to 102 structural reforms in the Spanish economy.

Receipt of the advance of 13% -some 9,000 million euros– It will be automatic, once Ecofin approves the plan, predictably in mid-July. However, to obtain the first disbursement – of about 10,000 million, according to the calculations of the European Commission – Spain will have to meet, by the end of the third quarter, with 48 reforms and two milestones.

Thus, throughout the year Spain will receive a total of 19,000 million, an amount less than the 27,000 million euros incorporated into the State Budgets for 2021, on account of the 70,000 million allocated by Europe to Spain until 2026.

From then on, Spain could choose to receive two disbursements per year, in 2022 and 2023, and one per year between 2024 and 2026. All these disbursements will be subject to compliance with the reforms and investments promised in the plan. The Spanish Government confirms that, since February 2020, it has already met a hundred of the milestones committed to in the plan and that is why it hopes to be able to access the successive disbursements.

The disbursement schedule designed by the European Commission, according to the milestones defined by the Spanish Government for the different reforms and investments, it includes two new deliveries in 2022 (12,000 million in June and another 5,000 in December); another two in 2023 (10,000 million in June and another 7,000 in December); a delivery of 8,000 million in June 2024 and another two more in 2025 (3,000 million in June and 4,000 in December)

Green and digital transition

“This plan will profoundly transform the economy of Spain, make it greener, more digital and more resistant. (We) have supported him because he is ambitious, has a vision for the future and will help build a better future for Spaniards ”, the President of the European Commission celebrated. Ursula von der Leyen. According to the analysis, Spain will allocate 40% of the 69,500 million to the green transition, above the 37% minimum required by the EU, and 28% to the digital transformation, also above the 20% required.

The analysis also accepts the reforms and investments proposed by the Government, considering that they will contribute to solving the problems identified in the country-specific recommendations for 2019 and 2020, including reforms aimed at reducing labor market segmentation and improving policies. active employment, social policies and the strengthening of the health system. Brussels also welcomes investments in the green and digital transition, measures to improve the business climate and reforms of the spending review system, the tax system and the pension system.

In the area of green transition Spain will allocate 3,900 million to innovative renewable energies and 3,400 million to renovating buildings. Regarding the digital transition, it includes 3,600 million for digital training, 4,300 million for the digital transformation of public administration, health, justice, employment systems, education and social services, another 4,600 million for the digitization of the industry and SMEs and another 4,000 million for the development of 5G.

The analysis of the European Commission assesses the fulfillment of 11 criteria among the 6 pillars identified in the European regulation: that the measures have a lasting impact, that they respond to the gaps identified in the specific recommendations by country, that include milestones and objectives to evaluate the progress of reforms and investments in a “clear and realistic” way, that allocate at least 37% of resources to climate and 20% to digital spending, that respect the principle of not undermining environmental or digital objectives and that include adequate control and an audit mechanism.


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