12 EU member states' post-pandemic recovery plans endorsed by European Commission

Source: Xinhua| 2021-06-24 05:55:03|Editor: huaxia
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French President Emmanuel Macron attends a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris June 23, 2021. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday ended the first leg of her visit to 12 EU members that had their national recovery plans approved. In Paris, Ursula von der Leyen announced that France will receive 39.4 billion euros in grants. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)

by Matthew Xuereb, Li Jizhi

BRUSSELS, June 23 (Xinhua) -- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday concluded her first leg of visits to the capital cities of 12 member states of the European Union (EU) that had their national recovery plans approved.

Since last Wednesday, von der Leyen visited Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, Latvia, Germany, France and Belgium. She was touring the capital cities with the European Commission's verdict on their national post-COVID-19 national recovery and resilience plan.

In each country, von der Leyen announced the amount that was being allocated to each member state from the NextGenerationEU, the bloc's historic 750-billion-euro (894 billion U.S. dollars) recovery instrument over the period 2021-2026.

According to the Commission, Italy will receive 191.5 billion euros from the EU, including 68.9 billion euros in grants and 122.6 billion euros in loans. It is the largest package so far.

"It is a generational opportunity, indeed, to invest in Italy's strength to make Italy an engine for growth in Europe," von der Leyen said in Rome on Tuesday.

The European Commission found that Italy's plan devotes 37 percent of expenditure on projects that support climate objectives, including a large-scale renovation program to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. A quarter of the money will go to digital investments.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility, the bulk of the NextGenerationEU, will make loans and grants available to support reforms and investments undertaken by EU states. The aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.

The first country von der Leyen visited was Portugal, to which she endorsed a 16.6-billion-euro recovery and resilience plan, where the EU will disburse 13.9 billion euros in grants and 2.7 billion euros in loans.

In Spain, she announced the acceptance of Spain's plan for 69.5 billion euros in grants, which will play a key role in enabling Spain to emerge stronger from the pandemic.

Denmark will receive 1.5 billion euros in grants, Luxembourg received the green light for 93 million euros while Greece will have a total of 30.5 billion euros. Austria will receive 3.5 billion euros, Slovakia 6.3 billion euros, Latvia 1.8 billion euros, while Germany will receive 25.6 billion euros.

In Paris, von der Leyen announced that France will receive 39.4 billion euros in grants, while back to Belgium, she announced that the EU will disburse 5.9 billion euros in grants.

For all approved plans, the Council of the EU has four weeks to adopt the Commission's proposal. The Council's approval of the plan would allow for the disbursement of a percentage in pre-financing, with the rest disbursed according to the satisfactory fulfillment of the milestones and targets. (1 euro = 1.19 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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