In the European Parliament (EP) today, Ana Paula Zacarias, the portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, again stressed that “getting the Recovery and Resilience Facility to the people and companies as quickly as possible” is one of the goals of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Representing the Council of the European Union in the debate on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) in the EP, Ana Paula Zacarias praised the rapid and effective European response to the COVID-19 crisis. However, she recalled that, following the proposals from the European institutions, it is now up to the Member States to continue this process, presenting their national recovery plans as soon as possible in order to avoid delays.
EUR 672.5 billion to fund the fight against the consequences of the pandemic
The RRF was designed to help EU countries to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The text was provisionally agreed by the EP and the Council in December 2020. It includes a financial provision of EUR 672.5 billion in grants and loans to finance measures for combating the economic and social consequences of the pandemic and augmenting the economic and social resilience of the Member States.
In each country, reforms and investments initiated on or after 1 February 2020 may be eligible for funding from the RRF, provided they are focused on the main political priorities of the European Union: the green transition, the digital transformation, economic, social and territorial cohesion and competitiveness. Plans for institutional reaction to the crisis and in preparation for new crises will also be taken into consideration, as well as those aimed at measures for children and young people.
In order to make this reality possible, following approval from the MEPs, it will also be necessary for the Member States to submit their plans to the European Commission. As such, in her speech at the plenary session, the Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs also pointed out that we are on this road together. For Ana Paula Zacarias, this is the beginning of a new venture, one that “the Parliament, the Council and the Commission will undertake together, along with each Member State, on our way to stronger, greener, fairer, more digital and more competitive societies”.