The supposed secret contract that Pablo Casado is talking about between the Government and the European Commission has been published this Wednesday afternoon. It was already announced by Vice President Nadia Calviño last week, and it was announced again by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in Congress in the morning. The 343-page document details how to evaluate the fulfillment of milestones and goals, that is, of each reform or project committed by the Government in its reform plan delivered to the European Commission on April 30 last and that was approved by the Community Executive.
The operational provisions, which, as Brussels said last week, “do not include any new requirements”, were signed on October 4 by the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, after weeks of negotiation with the European Commission because it is about of a document to be signed by the 27 countries, and Spain is the first to sign it. On the part of Brussels the signature, of this Tuesday, is of the commissioner of Finances, Paolo Gentiloni.
The ratification of the operating arrangements is the previous step to request the 10 billion euros pending in 2021, after the 9 billion euros in pre-financing arrived.
From these 10,000 million, there are another seven disbursements, divided into semesters, linked to the fulfillment of the pre-established milestones and goals.
Thus, for example, when talking about the objective of reducing temporary employment within the labor reform, which is component 23 of the reform plan delivered at the end of April, it establishes the following: “Respecting social dialogue and as part of a comprehensive approach that balances the need for flexibility and security in the labor market, entry into force of the modification of the provisions of Legislative Decree 2/2015, of October 23, which approves the revised text of the Workers’ Statute to support the reduction of temporary employment by rationalizing the number of contract types “.
And then the following “verification mechanism” is specified: “Copy of the publication in the BOE accompanied by a summary document that duly justifies how the milestone was satisfactorily met. This summary document will include a reference to the pertinent provisions that indicate the entry into force (unless not applicable) and the provisions that comply with the relevant elements of the milestone, as listed in the milestone description and corresponding action in the annex to the Council Implementation Decision [en la que se aprueba el plan español] with appropriate links or copies of the documents mentioned in the abstract document. ”
The milestones of the labor reform, which must be completed before the end of the year, have to do with its publication in the Official State Gazette. However, they enter into the request for money for the first half of 2022, since the money arrives after verifying that the goals have been completed, and they represent a fundamental part of the 12,000 million that Spain expects before next summer.
“Why do they not publish the agreement of the Government of Spain with the European Commission to know the conditionality of the receipt of funds?”, Asked the president of the PP, Pablo Casado, in Congress: “If you do not make it public this week, We will go to the European Parliament and the European Commission to demand that it be published, and we will make it public for all Spaniards. It’s good to lie, man, there one thing and here another “.
Well, the agreement –Operational arrangement– to which Casado was referring is neither secret nor does it contain conditionalities nor is it only for Spain. These are operational provisions for the 27 that detail the mechanism for monitoring compliance with the milestones and objectives of the reforms. And, as Spain is the one that is most advanced, they have been developed for the first time for the Spanish case but, as indicated in the regulation approved last February by governments and the European Parliament With the vote of the MEPs of the PP of Casado, all countries must sign them as a preliminary step to receive the disbursements, which in the case of Spain are 140,000 million, between transfers and credits.
“The European Commission has agreed on the operational provisions with Spain”, explain the community spokespersons: “The operational agreements are bilateral, between the Member State in question and the Commission, and establish criteria for monitoring the implementation of national recovery plans and resilience “.
And they state: “As such, they do not include new requirements, but rather detail the implementation of the milestones and objectives described in the Council’s implementation decision. [por la que se aprueba cada plan nacional]”.