16 July 2021

Recovery and Resilience takes shape in European Member States

The European Union’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic that strengthens Europe’s resilience has seen a lot of progress over the past few days.

The National Recovery and Resilience Plans, which are to be drafted by the EU Member States in the framework of the Next Generation EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, are taking shape. The European Commission has received no less than 25 plans, of which 16 were assessed positively. On 13 July, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council approved 12 national plans, paving the way for these countries to sign grant and loan agreements and start receiving funds from the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. The first Member States enabled to do so are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.

A collaboration between national and European levels

At this week’s joint ECON (Economic and Monetary Affairs) and BUDG (Budgets) European Parliament Committee meeting, MEPs held the second Recovery and Resilience Dialogue with Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People and Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy.

The Commissioners celebrated the progress made at EU and Member State levels. They highlighted the excellent work done by DG ECFIN and DG RECOVER over the past months to ensure the plans are in line with the Recovery and Resilience Facility regulation. They also noted the challenging work ahead for both the Commission and the Member States to monitor the implementation of the plans. For this, the Commission is collaborating with the European Parliament to establish the necessary scoreboard and indicators. Simultaneously, the Commissioners referred to the adoption of the Fitfor55 package which took place on the same day. This package, which is part of the European Green Deal, also refers to the Recovery and Resilience Facility, since the RRF regulation allocates 37% of its total to climate action.

European bonds and how to repay them?

Additionally, the Commissioners took stock of the largest ever institutional bond in Europe. The European Union was able to raise already a total of 45 billion euros through bonds, which, in their opinion, proves the trust of the market in Next Generation EU.

The question arises of how the European Union will ensure the repayment of these bonds. The conversations on the new own resources are ongoing and reference was made to green and digital levies. Notably, the Commissioners ensured that they have not lost sight of their promise to work towards fair taxation. In this regard, they are following closely the negotiations at international levels (G7/OECD/G20) and do not back away from hinting towards new own resources for the European Union to be included in the upcoming minimum corporate tax base and digital levy for multinationals.

Philanthropy and civil society’s role in recovery and resilience

Philanthropy Advocacy monitors closely the developments at European and national levels to ensure the philanthropic and civil society sectors are considered when the national plans are being drafted and implemented. The European Economic and Social Committee has already highlighted several times the crucial role civil society plays in representing the needs of the citizens. They have issued a resolution looking at the learnings from the involvement of organised civil society in the national plans in February, and, this week, the Director of the European Commission RECOVER Task Force Maria Theresa Fabregas stated at the EESC side event of the UN High-Level Political Forum that without involvement of civil society, the plans will be a failure because of a lack of ownership of societies.

Following a previous report on consultation of philanthropy and civil society in the drafting process of the national plans, Civil Society Europe together with ECNL, Philanthropy Advocacy and other sector representatives are planning a follow-up study to assess the extent to which philanthropy and civil society have been consulted, and to what extent they are being involved in the implementation of the national plans.


Photo Valdis Dombrovskis: Mathieu CUGNOT. Copyright © European Union 2021 –  Source: EP