17 Jun
next generation EU Spain

NextGenerationEU: European Commission endorses Spain’s €69.5 billion recovery and resilience plan

The European Commission has adopted (16 June 2021) a positive assessment of Spain’s recovery and resilience plan.

This is an important step towards the EU disbursing €69.5 billion in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) over the period 2021-2026.

This financing will support the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Spain’s recovery and resilience plan. It will play a key role in enabling Spain to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RRF – at the heart of NextGenerationEU – will provide up to €672.5 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across the EU.

The Commission assessed Spain’s plan based on the criteria set out in the RRF Regulation.

Commission´s analysis

The Commission’s analysis considered, in particular, whether the investments and reforms set out in Spain’s plan contribute to effectively addressing challenges identified in the context of the European Semester; contain measures that effectively support the green and digital transitions; and contribute to strengthening the growth potential, job creation and economic and social resilience of the Member State.

Digital transition

The Commission’s assessment finds that Spain’s plan devotes 40% of its total allocation to measures that support climate objectives. This includes measures to promote urban and long-distance sustainable mobility, increase the energy efficiency of buildings, decarbonise industry and reduce energy dependency, as well as to deploy new technologies for green hydrogen and renewables.

The plan also includes measures to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change by preserving coastal spaces, ecosystems and biodiversity and promote the circular economy by improving water and waste management.

The Commission finds that Spain’s plan devotes 28% of its total allocation to the digital transition. This includes measures on the digitalisation of the public administration, industry and business, including a specific programme for the digitalisation of SMEs. There are also investments in digital equipment for education and improving digital skills.

Reinforcing Spain’s economic and social resilience

The Commission’s assessment considers that Spain’s plan includes an extensive set of mutually reinforcing reforms and investments that contribute to effectively addressing all or a significant subset of the economic and social challenges outlined in the country-specific recommendations (CSRs) addressed to Spain by the Council in the European Semester in 2019 and in 2020.

It includes measures in the areas of employment to reduce labour market segmentation and enhance active labour market policies.

It also includes measures in the area of education and skills, as well as social policies, including support to the health system’s resilience and capacity.

The plan also addresses the CSR in the area of public finances, including reforms of the spending review system, the tax system and the pension system.

The Spanish recovery and resilience plan contributes in a comprehensive and adequately balanced manner to all six pillars of the Regulation.

By: Estela Martín

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