June 19, 2021

The European Commission is preparing to approve the Spanish recovery plan to access 140,000 million of European funds



It is imminent. The European Commission is preparing to approve the Spanish recovery and resilience plan to access the 140,000 million euros of European reconstruction funds. In the coming days the approval will be finalized, which the president of the Community Executive will present in Madrid next Wednesday, June 16, according to the agenda communicated this Friday by the spokesperson of the European Commission, Dana Spinant. In addition to Spain, Von der Leyen will travel to Portugal on Wednesday; on Thursday to Greece and Denmark; and on Friday, to Luxembourg. From here, the Council – the governments – have up to a month to give their approval, after which the money will begin to flow. A first part of that money, up to 13% pre-financing, will arrive in a first phase: about 9,000 million for Spain.

“There is still the process that the meeting of the college of commissioners of its last approval before the presentation by the president,” said Spinant. The meeting of the college of commissioners is scheduled for June 15, 24 hours before Von der Leyen’s trip to Spain. On those trips, “he will present an evaluation that will serve as a recommendation for the Council to approve the plans.”

Ursula von der Leyen already announced this Tuesday in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg that “next week the European Commission will begin to test the recovery plans for their adoption. [después] of Council [los Gobiernos]”And he added:” Our recovery is going to get under way. The money is going to start flowing in the next few weeks. To date we have received 23 national plans. These plans send out a very clear signal, a very clear message: Europeans are ready for a new beginning. ”

To do this, the EU has had to overcome the last major obstacle so that the 750,000 million euros of recovery funds agreed almost a year ago after five days of negotiations between the Heads of State and Government in Brussels begin to arrive. That step was the approval by the 27 national parliaments of the order of own resources, the necessary and essential legislation that enables the European Commission to go to the markets to issue community debt with which to finance European funds, of which 140,000 will go to Spain –although, for the moment, it has only requested 69,500 million corresponding to transfers and not to credits, which can be requested until 2026–, which expects the first 9,000 this summer –13% pre-financing–.

In the case of Spain, Brussels trusts 140,000 million of European funds to correct the “imbalances” in the Spanish economy. The European Commission decided last week to keep the spending tap open until 2023, and has asked Spain to “apply a prudent fiscal policy”, while acknowledging that “the measures adopted by the Spanish authorities to support companies and households they have helped mitigate the impact of the crisis on the banking sector. ”

The European Commission has recently improved Spain’s economic prospects (from 5.6% to 5.9%) thanks to the impact of European funds, which will grow above the EU average in 2021, although they are still below those of the Government (6.5%). The projections of the Community Executive project that the EU economy will expand by 4.2% in 2021 and 4.4% in 2022, while the Spanish one will lead and reach 5.9% in 2021 and 6, 8% in 2022. This represents a significant improvement in growth prospects compared to the 2021 winter economic forecast presented by the Commission in February. “Growth rates will continue to vary across the EU, but all Member States should see their economies return to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2022,” says Brussels.

The European Parliament, for its part, wants the 750,000 million in European recovery funds to go to reforms that lead to improvements in people’s social conditions. Thus, an amendment by the Left group in the European Parliament approved this Thursday – 368 votes in favor, 275 against and 48 abstentions – within a resolution on the recovery mechanism states: “The creation and promotion of quality employment is one of the objectives included in the regulation of the recovery and resilience mechanism, and this must be done through a comprehensive package of reforms and investments in order to promote stable contracts, decent wages, the coverage of collective bargaining and a minimum level of social protection , including decent pensions above the poverty line. ”

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