Spain already has the approval of the European Commission to payment of 10,000 million euros of the first section of the recovery funds of the program Next Generation EU requested on November 11. Brussels considers that Government of Pedro Sánchez has met the 52 milestones and objectives agreed so that it will become the first country in the EU to receive the disbursement that will be added to the advance of 9,000 million received at the end of August. The Economic and Financial Committee – which brings together the representatives of the 27 member states – now has one month to make the final decision.
“We have reached a new milestone in the implementation of our Next Generation EU recovery plan. In our opinion, there is already a first Member State – which is Spain – that is ready to receive a Next Generation payment ”and“ that is because Spain has made great progress in implementing the recovery plan ”, the president celebrated of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. “I congratulate Spain for having successfully achieved the first 52 milestones set in the recovery plan. This includes important reforms to reinforce the resilience of the Spanish economy and equip it for the future ”, added the vice president of the Community Executive, Valdis Dombrovskis.
Good news for Spain 🇪🇸!
Spain has made sufficient progress in the implementation of its national plan for #NextGenerationEU
Therefore, it will be the first EU country to receive a payment, worth € 10 billion, once the other Member States authorize it. pic.twitter.com/PMVDZf1YbL
– Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 3, 2021
Although several months behind the estimates initially planned, due to the delay in signing the operating agreement, Spain submitted the request on November 11 after verifying compliance with a series of reforms in the field of sustainable mobility, energy efficiency, decarbonization, connectivity, public administration, qualifications, education, social policy, research and development, labor and tax policy or audits. Among the milestones achieved, for example, are the Climate Change and Energy Transponder Law, which establishes climate neutrality by 2050, the reform to support minimum income, measures to support the digitization of SMEs and to promote digital skills as well as others. reforms aimed at strengthening public spending.
Although Brussels had two months to carry out the evaluation, the community technicians have completed their analysis in just three weeks thanks to the fact that most of the milestones, adopted since February 2020, had already been reached by the end of the second half of this year and the “close cooperation” with the Spanish authorities, which, according to the vice-president, has allowed the examination to be concluded “in record time”.
“The positive evaluation is a recognition of Spain for having adopted a very wide range of reforms,” said the commissioner for economic affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, on “reforms to improve education and training, support the most vulnerable households, promote digital skills and the competitiveness of SMEs and chart the course towards 100% electricity generated from renewable sources”, he added on a decision that you consider sends a “signal of confidence.”
– Paolo Gentiloni (@PaoloGentiloni) December 3, 2021
The next stage in the process will be to obtain the green light from the committee of the Economic and Financial Committee, which will have a maximum period of four weeks to issue a verdict on the Brussels opinion. Although the deadline could extend the decision until the beginning of January, the Spanish Government trusts that the final decision will still take place before the end of the year. The Spanish recovery plan includes a package of grants of 69,500 million of which 13%, 9,000 million, were received in August.
The economic vice president Nadia Calviño has been satisfied with the positive assessment that confirms, as she has celebrated, the “important progress in investments and reforms” promoted by the Government. “Spain has been paving the way in the deployment of innovative investment instruments aimed at promoting recovery and also addressing the double green and digital transition. The Spanish Recovery Plan was one of the first approved by the European institutions ”and“ we have been the first country to request payment for the fulfillment of milestones and objectives and also to receive a favorable evaluation, confirming once again the trust and good cooperation with the European authorities. ”According to Calviño, up to now 73% of the investment planned for this year has been authorized, about 60% is already committed and investments for more than 10,400 million euros have been awarded although the cruising speed will be reached in 2022.