Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024
Brussels, 26 June 2023

Today, the European Commission has given a positive assessment of France’s modified recovery and resilience plan, which includes a REPowerEU chapter. The plan is now worth almost €40.3 billion in grants (up from €39.4 billion) and covers 24 reforms and 73 investments.

France removed one investment supporting regional investment funds and downsized 12 investments notably in the areas of culture, employment in R&D, reskilling through dual training programmes and support to the aeronautics sector. The modified plan submitted by France also amends 18 measures of the original plan.

These amendments take account of:

  • the downward revision of France’s maximum RRF grant allocation, from €39.4 billion to €37.4 billion. This revision is a result of the June 2022 update to the RRF grants allocation key and reflects France’s comparatively better economic outcome in 2020 and 2021 than initially foreseen; and
  • objective circumstances that have led to difficulties in implementation, including the impact of high inflation and supply chain disruptions.

France has also proposed to improve the monitoring of its public finance reform by adding a new milestone related to the assessment of the quality of public spending. This will enable reporting on the implementation of the new spending review mechanism, a measure included in the original plan, which entered into force in 2023. This mechanism is expected to contribute to enhancing the quality and efficiency of public spending.

Importantly, France has added a REPowerEU chapter to its plan, with three new reforms, three new investments and one scaled-up investment included in the initial recovery and resilience plan. These will help deliver on the REPowerEU Plan‘s objectives to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

France has requested to transfer its share of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) to the plan, in line with the REPowerEU Regulation, amounting to €504 million. These funds, added to France’s REPowerEU grant allocation of €2.3 billion, make the modified plan worth almost €40.3 billion.

An additional boost to France’s green transition   

The modified plan has a significantly stronger focus on the green transition, devoting 49.5% (up from 42.4% in the original plan) of the available funds to measures that support climate objectives.

The REPowerEU chapter importantly advances France’s efforts on the green transition, since all the reforms and investments fully contribute to reducing the reliance on fossil fuels, by increasing energy efficiency in buildings with greater emphasis on deep renovation, and by supporting hydrogen projects and decarbonising the industrial sector. The reforms included in the REPowerEU chapter will also accelerate the deployment of renewable energy projects through streamlined permitting procedures, reduce France’s energy consumption with the “energy efficiency plan” and increase the coherence and coordination of public policies in the field of ecological transition with the creation of the General Secretariat for ecological planning.

Reinforcing France’s digital preparedness and social resilience  

The digital ambition of France’s plan remains unchanged, as the plan now devotes 21.6% (compared to the previous 21.4%) of its total allocation to support the digital transition. The modified plan continues to significantly contribute to the digital transition of businesses and of the administration, as well as to increase the digital skills of the workforce, of students and the wider population with an expected lasting impact. In particular, the plan still contributes to the deployment of highspeed broadband throughout the country and supports the digitalisation of the health system, as well as research in key digital technologies (such as cloud, 5G or cybersecurity).

The modified plan’s social dimension remains ambitious, as it still addresses relevant social and employment challenges, such as increasing employment, reinforcing labour market integration, and increasing workers’ skills. In particular, the plan still supports the modernisation and reinforcement of public employment services, as well as investments in the training of workers (transition pathways, individual learning account) and in support of labour market integration (such as apprenticeship contracts, or employment subsidies for youth and persons with disabilities). The plan also supports the transformation of the health care system, and the renovation of hospitals and nursing homes.

Next steps 

The Council will now have, as a rule, four weeks to endorse the Commission’s assessment.

The Council’s endorsement would allow France to request €564 million in pre-financing of the REPowerEU funds. Under the RRF, France has so far received €5.1 billion in pre-financing and a first payment of €7.4 billion in March 2022.

The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in France’s recovery and resilience plan, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.

For More Information  

France’s Recovery and Resilience Plan website

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Questions and Answers  

REPowerEU chapters and revision of recovery plans

Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation 

Recovery and Resilience Facility website 

Source – EU Commission


NextGenerationEU: EU Commission endorses Malta’s €328 million modified recovery and resilience plan, including a REPowerEU chapter

 

Brussels, 26 June 2023
Today, the European Commission has given a positive assessment of Malta’s modified recovery and resilience plan, which includes a REPowerEU chapter. The plan is now worth €328 million in grants (up from €316.4 million) and covers 31 reforms and 16 investments.

Due to the downward revision of its grants allocation, Malta has removed two investments, i.e. the construction of a new ferry dock at Buġibba, St Paul’s Bay, and the setting up of a Centre for Vocational Education Excellence, the ITS Campus. Malta has also scaled down two measures, related to the digitalisation of the health sector and to the renovation of Mount Carmel public hospital.

These and other minor changes made by Malta to the original plan are based on the need to factor in:

  • supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which have made investments more expensive and caused delays; and
  • the downward revision of its maximum RRF grant allocation, from €316 million to €258 million. This downward revision is a result of the June 2022 update to the RRF grants allocation key and reflects Malta’s comparatively better economic outcome in 2020 and 2021 than initially foreseen.

Importantly, Malta has added a REPowerEU chapter to its plan, including one new reform and one new investment to deliver on the REPowerEU Plan‘s objectives to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two measures aim at facilitating the increase of renewable energy in Malta’s energy mix and strengthening the electricity grid, making it more suitable for the deployment of renewable energy sources. The investment concerns the strengthening and extending of the electricity distribution network through investments in the grid, distribution services and battery storage. The reform involves the streamlining of permitting procedures of renewable energy projects and making solar energy installations mandatory for certain new buildings.

To finance the increased ambition of its plan, Malta has requested to transfer to the plan its share of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR), in line with the REPowerEU Regulation, amounting to €40 million. These funds, added to Malta’s REPowerEU grants allocation of €29.9 million, make the approved modified plan worth €328 million.

An additional boost to Malta’s green transition   

The modified plan has a significantly stronger focus on the green transition, devoting 68.8% (up from 53.8% in the original plan) of the available funds to measures that support climate objectives.

The reform and investment measures included in the REPowerEU chapter strongly contribute to the green transition. The reform will require the installment of renewable energy solutions on certain new buildings. Shorter, binding timelines will be adopted for the application and permit-granting procedures of renewable energy installations on greenhouses and for other renewable energy projects. The investment in the electricity grid will make the grid stronger and wider, addressing existing bottlenecks in the provision of stable, flexible and fast-responding energy, and making the grid better suited for the deployment of renewables.

The plan maintains support for investments in renovation and energy efficiency improvements of private and public sector buildings (schools, hospitals and offices). Likewise, the plan continues to support the decarbonisation of transport in the public and private sectors, including a scrappage scheme (i.e. a programme aimed at promoting the replacement of old vehicles with modern ones) and grants for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles.

Reinforcing Malta’s digital preparedness and social resilience  

The digital ambition of Malta’s plan remains high. The plan now devotes 26.2% (up from 25.5%) of its total allocation to support the digital transition. The plan includes investments to digitalise the public administration, to strengthen the government’s IT systems and enhance digital public services. Malta’s plan also includes investments in the digitalisation of at least 360 companies, in particular SMEs.

The modified plan’s social dimension remains ambitious, with the health and social reforms remaining unchanged. The plan includes significant measures to contribute to addressing vulnerabilities in the field of education and training, employment, social protection and health. It also furthers implements the European Pillar of Social Rights, putting forward measures to prevent early school leaving, enhance the quality and inclusiveness of the education system, and expand reskilling and upskilling guidance and opportunities for all adults, most notably the low-skilled.

Next steps 

The Council will now have, as a rule, four weeks to endorse the Commission’s assessment.

The Council’s endorsement would allow Malta to present its second payment request under the RRF and a request for €14 million in pre-financing under REPowerEU. Under the RRF, Malta has so far received €41 million in pre-financing in December 2021, as well as a first payment of €52.3 million in March 2023.

The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in Malta’s recovery and resilience plan, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.

For More Information  

Malta’s Recovery and Resilience Plan website

Recovery and Resilience Facility: Questions and Answers  

REPowerEU chapters and revision of recovery plans

Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation 

Recovery and Resilience Facility website 

Source – EU Commission

 

 

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