Members of the Budgetary and Economic Affairs Committees adopted their position on the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the programme through which most of the EU recovery money will be channelled, on 9 November.
Renew Europe MEPs have entered the talks with other parliamentary groups with three objectives in mind. First, EU recovery money raised on the market must be spent on EU priorities. Second EU recovery money must come with strings attached. Third, EU recovery money must reach businesses and people as soon as possible.
EU money for EU priorities
“We had a duty towards our citizens to succeed, to find a majority in the House and to move this historical recovery plan forward. The second wave of the pandemic is here, our citizens need a proper recovery. Six pillars of European priorities are put forward by the European Parliament in an ambitious and forward-looking agenda for reforms and investments in line with existing EU strategies,” said Dragoș Pîslaru, Renew Europe co-rapporteur on the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
“We will keep our promise to help the next generation avoid being a “lockdown generation”. The RRF will dedicate 7% of its total amount for reforms and investments for youth, children, long-life learning and skills,” he added.
EU money comes with strings attached
“Recovery money must not be squandered away,” said ALDE Party Vice-President Luís Garicano, Renew Europe negotiator for the Budget committee. “EU countries have a massive opportunity to transform their economies, undergo reforms and take a productivity leap. We ought to get this right. To make sure we do, we’ve beefed up monitoring and control mechanisms in the instrument and given the EU enough leverage to ensure countries do not turn this process into a silly box-ticking exercise.”
Tough conditionality was also applied to the green side of things. If a plan put forward by a member state to access recovery money does not have at least 40% of its projects dedicated to green spending, it will be rejected. The Group is asking the European Commission to come up with updated guidance to make sure the climate target is not just set but also met.
EU recovery must be disbursed swiftly
With the vote on 9 November, the European Parliament negotiators now have a strong mandate to open talks with the European Council. Following the vote in committee, the mandate will be announced in Plenary and talks with the Germany’s EU Council Presidency will begin. “The second wave is here. We have no time to waste,” concluded Dragoş Pîslaru.