The first countries received funds from the Reconstruction and Resilience Fund – Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal. In total, these countries received almost EUR 3 billion in the first tranche. In turn, the European Commission spokeswoman for economic affairs, Arianna Podesta, reported that the evaluation of the Polish reconstruction plan is being continued.
National Reconstruction Plan – what about money for Poland?
– We are continuing to cooperate with the Polish authorities in this process and are working to complete our assessment as soon as possible. We are continuing our constructive work, as we have done with all Member States, to ensure that the Polish plan is in line with the objectives and requirements of the RRF regulation. Throughout the evaluation period, the Commission worked in close cooperation with Poland to clarify any possible open issues and obtain additional information on the activities contained in the plan, said the representative of the Commission.
She announced that this process would be continued until the European Commission obtains all the information necessary to complete the evaluation. – Such interviews are a perfectly normal and expected part of the procedure (…). Our goal is to complete the assessment as soon as possible – ensured Podesta.
Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy of the Republic of Poland, Waldemar Buda, informed that the deadline for the assessment of the Polish national reconstruction plan was to expire on Tuesday. – We strongly encourage the European Commission to work more intensively. There is a fear that the provisions of the regulation may be breached by the European Commission, as the deadline resulting from it is August 3. In this context, the planned termination of the Commission’s work for the whole of August limits the dynamics of investing funds from the Reconstruction Funds as soon as possible, and this was the idea behind its creation – said Buda.
First disbursements from the reconstruction fund – which countries got the money and how many?
On Tuesday, the European Commission disbursed funds from the Reconstruction and Resilience Fund (RRF) of Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal.
“Advances will help implement the main investment measures and reforms described in the national recovery and resilience plans. The Commission will approve further payments based on the implementation of investments and reforms proposed in these plans,” the European Commission said.
As part of the first payment, Belgium received EUR 770 million, Luxembourg – EUR 12.1 million, and Portugal EUR 2.2 billion.
The value of the entire national reconstruction plan for Belgium is EUR 5.9 billion, Luxembourg – EUR 93.4 million, and Portugal – EUR 16.6 billion.
National Reconstruction Plan – issues of EU law and the rule of law
European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova and EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders presented on 20 July rule of law report in the administration of justice and media freedom and pluralism.
As reported by the Reuters Agency, the European Commission has highlighted serious concerns about the rule of law that can influence decisions about multi-billion dollar bailouts from the European Reconstruction Fund.
As Reuters explained, the deputy head of the European Commission said that she was unable to predict when the money from the Reconstruction Fund for Poland would be approved. She emphasized that Warsaw must first convince the Commission that it has a reliable system for controlling and auditing the spending of EU funds.
Reconstruction Fund for pandemic crisis
The Reconstruction Fund is a means of reviving the EU economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time responding to the greatest challenges of our time: climate and digital transformation. To receive support, Member States must present their recovery plans to the European Commission.
After receiving the plan, the Commission has two months to evaluate it (unless it has agreed to postpone the deadline with the Member State) and to propose to the Council an implementing decision approving the plan. The Council then has four weeks to examine the draft decision. Once the Council adopts the decision, Member States can start signing bilateral financing agreements with the Commission and receive the agreed advances within two months.
From the Reconstruction Fund, Poland is to have around EUR 58 billion at its disposal. This amount consists of EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 34.2 billion in loans.
Reconstruction Fund – where do the funds come from?
On June 15, the EC began lending money in the financial markets for the Reconstruction and Resilience Fund (RRF). As part of the first transaction, it issued 10-year bonds worth EUR 20 billion on behalf of the EU. In the second, on June 29 – two tranches of bonds: 5-year bonds worth EUR 9 billion and 30-year bonds worth EUR 6 billion, and in the third, on July 13, 20-year bonds worth EUR 10 billion.
The EC has so far obtained a total of EUR 45 billion to finance RRF.
The European Commission can borrow funds in the financial markets after all EU countries have approved the own resources decision. To finance the Reconstruction Fund, the European Commission wants to issue long-term bonds worth around EUR 80 billion in 2021, which will be supplemented with short-term Eurobills.
The exact amount of funds raised from both bonds and eurobills will depend on the specific financial needs. In autumn, the EC will verify its initial assumptions.
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