Parliament demands democratic scrutiny over national recovery efforts

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


MEPs want to receive all relevant information on national recovery efforts, ensuring democratic oversight of the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

In a resolution adopted on Thursday with 602 votes in favour, 35 against and 56 abstentions, MEPs restated that, in line with the contents of the RRF Regulation, the European Parliament is entitled to receive relevant information on the state of play on the implementation of national recovery and resilience plans (RRPs).

To ensure greater transparency and democratic accountability of national recovery and resilience plans, MEPs expect to receive from the Commission the necessary background information as well as a summary of the reforms and investments from the national plans it has received (18 member states submitted their RRPs as of 18 May). They also expect this information to be provided to Parliament in an easily- understandable and comparable format, including any existing translations of documents submitted by member states.

Citizens’ ownership

MEPs believe that sharing preliminary assessments of the plans will not pre-judge the outcome of the procedure as most national recovery and resilience plans are already well advanced and likely to be approved. Such oversight would on the contrary would improve the Recovery and Resilience Dialogue.

Moreover, full transparency and accountability involving Parliament would both ensure and enhance the democratic legitimacy and sense of citizens’ ownership of the RRF. In order to ensure the involvement of civil society, and local and regional authorities in the implementation of the plans, MEPs call on the Commission to prompt member states to consult all national stakeholders and to monitor them to make sure consultation takes place for any future amendments or for new plans.

Watching milestones

MEPs want Parliament’s competent committees to be kept informed of the preliminary findings concerning the fulfilment of the agreed milestones and targets, as well as national recovery and resilience plans. If this is done, MEPs will be better able to assess the effective and proper spending of funds

Background

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the biggest building block of the Next Generation EU stimulus package and a temporary crisis instrument designed to help EU countries tackle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with a total firepower of € 672.5 billion in loans and grants.

National recovery and resilience plans are eligible for financing if they focus on six policy areas of European relevance: the green transition including biodiversity, digital transformation, economic cohesion and competitiveness, social and territorial cohesion, institutional crisis-reaction and crisis preparedness, as well as policies for the next generation, children and youth, including education and skills. Each plan has to contribute at least 37% of its budget to climate and at least 20% to digital actions. Finally, member states have to explain how the Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) contribute to gender equality and equal opportunities for all and how the relevant national stakeholders have been involved in preparation of RRPs.

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