11 February 2021

Recovery and Resilience Facility regulation – The European Union is getting closer to unleashing its historic recovery package

Adoption of the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility

On 10 February 2021, the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation was adopted in the European Parliament plenary session with a large majority of 582 votes in favour. This now paves the way for national governments to speed up the process of the drafting of the national recovery and resilience plans.

“… the Recovery and Resilience Facility is a symbol, a story about promise and vision and about European unity.” With these words, co-rapporteur MEP Dragos Pislaru (Renew, RO) kicked off the debate on the Recovery and Resilience Facility at the European Parliament plenary session in February. The co-rapporteurs celebrated the rapid response by the European institutions to reach an agreement on this unprecedented borrowing mechanism which seeks to support the Covid-19 recovery and strengthen resilience by means of grants and loans attributed to the Member States.

The Portuguese presidency of the Council, represented at this occasion by the Secretary of State Ana Paula Zacarias, celebrated that the regulation reflects many elements “such as the six pillars, the European added value, the reference to the European Pillar of Social Rights, the link with InvestEU and the involvement of local authorities and civil society.” The instrument is also fit for the future thanks to the introduction of green and digital thresholds of 37% and 20% respectively. The Recovery and Resilience Facility will be revised after two years and the Parliament will exercise democratic control, which will be further strengthened by the important role of stakeholder consultations.

Call on civil society and philanthropy to engage around national implementation

Now that the Recovery and Resilience Facility regulation has been formally adopted and is expected to enter into force on 19 February, ministers agreed on the importance of speeding up the process of submitting draft national recovery and resilience plans (NRRP) to the European Commission. These conversations have been ongoing since October 2020, and the final deadline for national governments to submit the NRRP is on 30 April 2021. Euractiv reports that, according to a Commission source, there are eight member states yet to submit a draft NRRP to the Commission: Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Lithuania, Poland, Malta and Estonia. Simultaneously, the EU Member States are urged to speed up the process of ratifying the Own Resources decision, of which the latest state of play can be accessed here.

As we have stated in a previous news item on the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the time is now for the philanthropic sector to pro-actively reach out to their governments, not only in countries where plans are pending. Member States have the obligation to consult civil society and other relevant stakeholders when they design and implement their NRRP. The European Parliament indeed counts on the collaboration of civil society and the wider public to assess the plans throughout the 2 months phase of review, likely taking place during April and May 2021. Please find below some more guidance provided by a European coalition of civil society organisations, and do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments.