The Pope appears in public for the first time since the operation
The European Commission adopted today (22 June) a positive assessment of Italy’s recovery and resilience plan. This is an important step towards the disbursement by the EU of € 68.9 billion in grants and € 122.6 billion in loans under the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (FRR) . This funding will support the implementation of crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Italy’s recovery and resilience plan. He will play a key role in enabling Italy to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. The RRF – at the heart of NextGenerationEU – will provide up to € 672.5 billion (at current prices) to support investment and reform across the EU. The Italian plan is part of an unprecedented coordinated EU response to the COVID-19 crisis, to address common European challenges by embracing green and digital transitions, to strengthen economic and social resilience and market cohesion unique.
The Commission assessed Italy’s plan on the basis of the criteria set out in the RRF Regulation. The Commission’s analysis notably examined whether the investments and reforms foreseen in the Italian plan support the green and digital transitions; contribute effectively to tackling the challenges identified in the European Semester; and strengthen its potential for growth, job creation and economic and social resilience. Ensuring Italy’s green and digital transition The Commission’s assessment finds that the Italian plan devotes 37% of total spending to measures that support climate objectives. The plan includes investments to finance a large-scale renovation program to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. It also provides for measures to promote the use of renewable energy sources, including hydrogen. The plan places particular emphasis on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport, with investments in sustainable urban mobility and rail infrastructure.
The Commission’s assessment finds that the Italian plan devotes 25% of its total allocation to measures that support the digital transition. Measures to support Italy’s digital transition include investments to support the digitization of businesses and the expansion of ultra-fast broadband networks and 5G connectivity. Investments are also targeted on the digitization of public administration, with measures planned for the general public administration, health, justice and education sectors. Strengthening Italy’s economic and social resilience The Commission considers that Italy’s plan includes a broad set of mutually reinforcing reforms and investments that help to effectively address all or a significant subset of economic and social challenges described in the country-specific recommendations addressed to Italy by the Council for the European Semester in 2019 and 2020. The plan includes measures aimed at contributing to the sustainability of public finances, increasing the resilience of the health sector , improve the effectiveness of active labor market policies and improve educational outcomes.
The plan is also expected to stimulate investments with a view to reducing regional disparities, increasing the effectiveness of public administration and the efficiency of the judiciary, improving the business environment and removing obstacles to competition. . The plan represents a comprehensive and adequately balanced response to Italy’s economic and social situation, thus contributing appropriately to the six pillars referred to in the RRF Regulation. Support flagship investment and reform projects The Italian plan proposes projects in six flagship European areas.
The President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen (on the picture) said: “Today the European Commission decided to give the green light to Italy’s 191.5 billion euro recovery and resilience plan. This unprecedented level of investment, coupled with crucial reforms, will help rebuild the Italian economy and prepare it for the future. I am proud that NextGeneration is helping the Italian people to look to the future with confidence and ambition. Now is the time to deliver. We will be by your side every step of the way to ensure that the plan is an Italian and European success. “
These are specific investment projects, which address issues common to all Member States in areas that create jobs and growth and are necessary for the double transition. For example, Italy has offered to provide € 12.1 billion for energy efficiency in residential buildings, € 32.1 billion for sustainable mobility and € 13.4 billion to support digitization companies. The assessment also concludes that none of the measures included in the plan significantly harm the environment, in accordance with the requirements set out in the RRF Regulation. The control systems put in place by Italy are considered adequate to protect the financial interests of the Union. The plan provides sufficient detail on how national authorities will prevent, detect and correct cases of conflict of interest, corruption and fraud related to the use of funds.
An economy that works for people Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President, said: “Italy’s plan will give a structural boost to its economic growth and help reduce social and regional differences. Ambitious reforms of the public administration and the judiciary, including through digitization, as well as improvements in the business environment will go a long way in removing the obstacles that hold back growth. Efforts to reduce tax evasion and make public spending more efficient will make the Italian economy fairer and more sustainable. We also welcome the social aspects of the plan, notably for the provision of social housing, the measures in favor of the southern regions, and its emphasis on improving education and employment opportunities. It will also help protect the climate by increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, stimulating sustainable transport and promoting renewable energies. We look forward to the plan bringing real change on the ground once it is fully implemented. ”
The Commission today adopted a proposal for a decision to provide € 68.9 billion in grants and € 122.6 billion in loans to Italy under the RRF. The Council will now generally have four weeks to adopt the Commission proposal. The approval of the plan by the Council would allow the payment of 24.9 billion euros to Italy in pre-financing. This represents 13% of the total amount allocated for Italy. The Commission will authorize further disbursements on the basis of the satisfactory achievement of the milestones and objectives defined in the recovery and resilience plan, reflecting the progress made in the implementation of investments and reforms.
Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said: “After an unprecedented crisis, Italy today has a unique opportunity to build a better future. Italy has presented a plan of reforms and investments that will enable the country to face the problems which have for too long held back economic development and social progress. More efficient public administration, more efficient court procedures, increased competition: we are no longer talking about a dream book but key elements of a detailed work program. At the same time, Italy will make crucial investments in sustainable mobility, renewable energies, the digitization of businesses and the deployment of 5G and very high speed, opening up new opportunities for all regions of the country. If Italy can make NextGenerationEU a success, it can mark the start of a new chapter of stronger growth and sustainable development. Achieving this success must be the number one priority for the years to come. Europe will be alongside Italy at every stage.