The European Parliament will today give its final green light to Europe’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), a crucial tool worth the €672.5 billion to boost the European economy following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eider Gardiazabal MEP, S&D negotiator for the European Parliament, said:
“Today, the European Parliament ratified months of tight negotiations on this very important tool. The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the basis of the Next Generation EU recovery plan aimed at putting Europe back on track after the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. No less than €672.5 billion will therefore be made available by means of grants and loans to support reforms and investments in member states.
“The text approved today is proof that we can fight for future investments, whilst not giving up on our key demands and priorities. The Parliament’s negotiating position from the beginning was that we want the money to be allocated equitably, based on six essential pillars. We, therefore, put our focus on sustainable transition, digital transformation, economic cohesion, social and territorial cohesion, institutional resilience and the Pillar of Social Rights. These mean, among others, the modernisation of public administration and support for the Youth and Child Guarantee. Moreover, this pandemic has shown us how important national health systems, and their coordination and collaboration at a European level, are. This is a lesson we have definitely learned from!
“I am also personally happy that we were able to contribute to enhancing gender equality and to introduce consultations with social partners. More importantly, we now have a retroactivity clause. Any investment made in the member states since 1 February 2020, since the beginning of the pandemic in Europe, is now eligible for reimbursement. This is a breath of fresh air for countless companies and SMEs who have been hardest hit in the past year.
“Our work for the people and for the planet does not stop here. For now, this RRF is a significant step forward in mitigating the effects of the Covid-19 crisis and, with the target of 37% spending on the green transition and 20% for the digital transition, it is also a stepping-stone for our common future.”