The Economic and Financial Committee of the EU, which brings together representatives of the 27 member states, this Tuesday gave the green light to disburse the first payment of 10,000 million of the recovery funds of the program Next Generation EU. The Twenty-seven have not waited to exhaust the expected term, of four weeks, and have accepted the recommendation of the European Commission to authorize the payment to Spain after considering that it has complied with the 52 milestones and objectives required.
“The Economic and Financial Committee has issued a positive opinion on the Commission’s preliminary assessment of the request for the first payment from Spain. The CEF agrees that Spain has satisfactorily met all relevant milestones and objectives and has underlined the need for an efficient procedure as well as deep scrutiny to guarantee a timely and effective implementation of the reforms, “explained sources. of the Community Executive.
The last step before the funds can be disbursed and the Spanish coffers fattened will be the formal adoption of the decision by the European Commission through the comitology procedure, in which the Member States are also consulted. Something that could take place this Wednesday at the scheduled meeting. “Depending on the outcome of the discussions in the comitology procedure, the Commission could still disburse the 10 billion before the end of 2021,” the same spokesman specified.
Analysis in record time
Spain, which will be the first country to receive the funds recovery, submitted the request for the first disbursement on November 11 after verifying compliance with a series of reforms in terms 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 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. The last step was to obtain the approval of the Economic and Financial Committee that although it had four weeks to issue its final verdict, it has not waited to comply. The Spanish recovery plan includes a $ 69.5 billion grant package of which an advance of 13%, about 9,000 million, was received automatically – with no connection to any reform – in August after the approval of the Spanish plan.