President Ursula von der Leyen welcomes the first official submission of a recovery and resilience plan by Portugal

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


President Ursula von der Leyen said:

Across Europe, we can see vaccination campaigns accelerating. In parallel, it is now all the more important to launch NextGenerationEU. Economic recovery must go hand in hand with an improved health situation on the ground. I welcome Portugal‘s recovery and resilience plan as the first one officially submitted to the Commission. The submission marks the beginning of a new phase in the process of implementing the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Commission looks forward to assessing the Portuguese plan, which focuses on resilience, climate and digital transitions and includes projects in almost all of the European flagship areas. We will continue to engage intensively with Member States to help them deliver high quality plans. Our goal remains to adopt all plans by the summer. For the first payments to be made, we need all Member States to have approved the Own Resources Decision. I am confident that all will be in place by the summer.”

The recovery and resilience plan of Portugal is the first plan officially submitted to the Commission.

The plan sets out the reforms and public investment projects that Portugal plans to implement with the support of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The RRF is the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU, the EU’s plan for emerging stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide up to €672.5 billion to support investments and reforms (in 2018 prices). This breaks down into grants worth a total of €312.5 billion and €360 billion in loans. The grant allocation for all Member States under the RRF in current prices is available here. The RRF will play a crucial role in helping Europe emerge stronger from the crisis, and securing the green and digital transitions.

The Portuguese plan is structured around the three pillars of resilience, green and digital transformation including measures in social housing, energy-efficiency in buildings and digital schooling. Projects in the plan cover the entire lifetime of the RRF until 2026. The plan proposes projects in six of the seven European flagship areas.

The presentation of the plan follows intensive dialogue between the Commission and the Portuguese authorities over the past months to prepare this plan.

The Commission will assess the plan within the next two months based on the eleven criteria set out in the Regulation and translate its content into legally binding acts. This assessment will notably include a review of whether the plan contributes to effectively addressing all or a significant subset of challenges identified in the relevant country-specific recommendations issued in the context of the European Semester. The Commission will also assess whether the plan dedicates at least 37% of expenditure to investments and reforms that support climate objectives, and 20% to the digital transition. Based on a proposal by the Commission, the Council will have as a rule four weeks to adopt the Commission proposal.

The Council’s approval would pave the way for the disbursement of a 13% pre-financing to Portugal of the requested € 13.9bn of grants and € 2.7bn of loans under the RRF, subject to the entry into force of the Own Resources Decision, which must first be approved by all Member States.

The plan presented by the Portuguese authorities is available here. The Commission continues to engage intensively with the remaining Member States to help them deliver high quality plans.

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