European Parliament negotiators wrapped up discussions with the Council on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) last night, a key tool to repair the economic and social damage of the Covid-19 pandemic.
S&D MEP Eider Gardiazabal, one of the European Parliament’s lead negotiators, succeeded in securing key progressive demands in the final agreement.
Eider Gardiazabal MEP, S&D negotiator for the European Parliament, said:
“The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the opportunity to advance the green economy and digitisation without leaving anyone behind. The Recovery and Resilience Facility, which is endowed with €672,500 million, is the most important investment programme in the Next Generation EU recovery plan. This mechanism is a double success: in the short term it will help alleviate the social impact of the Covid-19 crisis, and in the long term it will allow us to move towards a green and digital transition. We must bear in mind that it is the most important investment programme in the coming years, and we have to seize the opportunity.
“The agreement reached accepts the European Parliament’s proposal to distribute the fund into six separate pillars to which the funds will have to be allocated: a just climate transition, digitisation, social cohesion, a European industrial strategy and support for SMEs, modernisation of public administrations, and young people, with funds to support the Youth and Child Guarantees. We could not allow ourselves to falter in these negotiations. We are particularly pleased that we managed to include gender issues, and a more socially balanced vision. This crisis has and will still have serious social consequences and the European Union has to attend to the needs of citizens.
“The agreement includes a retroactive clause that will allow any investment made since February 1, 2020 to be reimbursed. Together with the approval of the Multi-annual Financial Framework, its own resources and the mechanism that links the budget to compliance with the rule of law, the European Union is closing a cycle of historic agreements that will mark its future over the next decade.
“The RRF is a double win, mitigating the social impact of the Covid crisis in the short term and allowing us to make a major step towards the green and the digital transition in the long term. With this agreement we finally have achieved a long-standing demand from the EP!”
Note to editors:
The RRF is the basis of the Commission’s Next Generation EU plan for recovery from the effects of the pandemic. It totals €672.5 billion in loans and grants available to support reforms and investments undertaken by member states, while ensuring spending targets of 37% for green transition (including biodiversity) and 20% for digital transition.