January 18, 2021

conditions for autonomies and annual visit to Congress


Madrid

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Little by little they are revealing how Moncloa plans to manage the European funds that Spain should receive (about 70,000 million euros until 2023). In this sense, the Government has advanced this Wednesday that will establish “conditionality” for the autonomous communities for the receipt of European funds and will carry out a “close monitoring” in the execution of the same to ensure that the objectives are met and the subsequent disbursements of European resources are not put at risk.

This has been stated by the Secretary General for Economic Affairs and G20, Manuel de la Rocha, during his speech at a webinar on the management of European funds and the Autonomous Communities, organized by Fundación Alternativas, in which he advanced that there will be “conditionality” for the Autonomous Communities regarding the receipt of European funds, for which they are designing ‘positive and negative’ incentives and mechanisms in order for the regions to meet the objectives.

De la Rocha, who will direct the unit for monitoring the funds in the Presidency, has detailed that The objective is that the Autonomous Communities that comply with the execution and the objectives can absorb more funds and that, on the other hand, those that do not execute all of the resources received are transferred. The autonomies may receive around 40% to 50% of European funds of up to 72,000 million that Spain will receive until 2023.

It has also clarified that European funds will be delivered responding only to the national Recovery Plan, Transformation and Resilience and, therefore, “there is no territorial distribution of all funds” as demanded by some Autonomous Communities.

In this way, he explained that European resources will be disbursed through a first advance and then twice a year once the European Commission verifies that the milestones and related objectives are met to the approval of legislative reforms currently under negotiation and to the fulfillment of objectives with investment results in different areas, such as the digitization of SMEs, training or the reduction of emissions.

Very close ‘tracking’

Therefore, it has insisted that the distribution of funds to the Autonomous Communities will also be subject to the fulfillment of objectivesBecause if one “does not comply, does not spend or delays them, it jeopardizes the disbursement of all funds for all”, something that he believes will generate an element of “loyalty and responsibility”.

To that end, it has advanced that there will be a ‘very close monitoring’ on the implementation of the funds by the autonomies, regardless of the fact that in some areas it will be territorialized and framework agreements will be made between the corresponding Ministry and the communities with the distribution of funds and the various conditions.

He has also asked that, as some autonomies are doing, these undertake a simplification of administrative procedures in line with the reform of the Administration approved by the Executive to eliminate ‘bottlenecks’ and speed up the execution of projects.

Through the autonomous communities. funds will be distributed to municipalities, but for them there will be two levels of channeling: one for very small municipalities, for which a fund will be created to channel money, especially in relation to empty Spain and the demographic challenge, and another mechanism for receiving funds by the big city councils.

70,000 million until 2023

Spain will receive around 140,000 million euros until 2026, of which more than 70,000 million will be received in the form of transfers until 2023 and the rest in the form of loans that the Government will request between 2023 and 2026.

Of the transfers, 12,000 million are obtained by the ‘React EU’ fund and the remaining 60,000 million by the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism with the condition of the approval of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan presented by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez last July and on which a first draft has already been sent to the EU and a second is negotiated, according to detailed.

In this sense, it has celebrated that the money that will reach Spain and the rest of the European countries It will be in the form of transfers in the form of “joint debt, not that of each country.” Of course, “after the moratorium, after six years the contributions of each country to the European budget will rise substantially as a guarantee that it is returned, together with European taxes that are going to be introduced,” he pointed out.

To Congress once a year

Regarding accountability, he indicated that the third economic vice president, Nadia calviño, the Minister of Finance, Maria Jesus Montero o the Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, will give an account “once a year” of the implementation of the Recovery Plan before the Joint Commission of the EU in Congress, compared to the quarterly appearance initially planned. However, he has advanced that the parliamentary appearance is scheduled when the most advanced draft of the Recovery Plan is available and when the final plan is available.

He has also indicated that since December high-level consultative forums have been held and they are being created from different fields such as energy, industry, digitization, science or transport to present the main lines to different groups, meanwhile the European funds sector conference in which the Minister of Finance will sit down with the advisers of the different Autonomous Communities to explain the execution of the plan.

In this sense, he has asked that the regions start to think in terms of the levers of the Recovery Plan and to identify which projects may interest more and which less and analyze it with the different organizations, social agents and sectors.

First calls for this first quarter

In any case, he has pointed out that the Recovery Plan is currently being negotiated, which has not been approved but that already includes 27,000 million European funds in the Budgets, to be carried out from January 1, for which the launch of “many” calls is planned already throughout the first quarter of the year.

To advance in the execution of projects, it has indicated that the Government has already launched six expressions of interest, the last from the Ministry of Ecological Transition to projects in rural areas, receiving 4,000 proposals.

“Co-investment”

He has clarified that companies that want their funds to be approved “are going to have to invest”, so private resources must be mobilized, as the government seeks “joint investment”, so that if a technology or project works, the benefits go to both the company and the State to reinvest in other technologies.

By areas, it has specified that 1,100 million will go to Health, especially for hospital equipments, although the React EU fund of 10 billion is to improve primary care or Covid response services.

In time, they will go 2 billion for the new care economy, with the aim of reviewing the nursing home model and moving towards the Nordic model of home care with telecare, as well as give a “turn” to the Dependency Law with more decentralization and reinforcement of social services.

For tourism 3.4 billion will go to change the model to a more sustainable one focused on the ecological transition and digitization, as well as measures for gender equality o 2.6 billion for universities in order to reinforce the structures for the creation of a body of researchers and provide a “certain stability” to research centers, along with digitization of educational centers.

Likewise, the digitization of SMEs, its internationalization and growth, with 4,000 million of the funds, among others.

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