Romania and Bulgaria are already investing the money they applied for under the EU Reconstruction Fund. Slovakia too, and it applied for a similar amount – in terms of GDP – to that which Poland would have received had it not been for the dispute with Brussels over the rule of law.
The economies of Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria are many times smaller than the economy of Poland. The money these countries applied for is also much lower than the amount Poles are waiting for. However, when the right proportions are applied, it is clear that funds from the European Reconstruction Fund are as important for Lithuanians, Slovaks, Romanians and Bulgarians as they are for us.
Funds for KPO are to constitute 6.1 percent of Polish GDP. This is approximately the same as in Slovakia. Bratislava only applied for grants amounting to almost six and a half billion euros. And she has already received three transfers: an advance payment and two tranches. In total, almost two billion euros, which constitutes 30 percent of the total amount requested.
One of the most important projects under the Slovak KPO is the thermal modernization of thirty thousand private houses. Half a billion euros will be allocated for this. By replacing windows, roofs and insulating walls, energy consumption in each such house will be reduced by at least 30 percent. The application process is currently underway.
Slovaks will also subsidize their national parks – they will allocate EUR 17 million for the development of ecological, so-called soft tourism. The applications have already been accepted and the funds are being distributed.
A number of investments
Lithuanians have already received even more than Slovaks, percentage-wise. They applied for grants of two billion two hundred million euros, which is 4 percent of their GDP. So far, two transfers have been received from Brussels to Vilnius: an advance payment and the first tranche, which together constitute 37 percent of the requested amount. Lithuanians have already invested the money. The flagship project implemented with the support of the EU Reconstruction Fund is a farm of giant batteries in which electricity is stored. Thanks to this investment, the entire country was secured in the event of a power outage. – I would say that the implementation of the reconstruction plan in Lithuania is progressing well. It is very important that the planned reforms and investments are implemented to strengthen the Lithuanian economy. We are currently talking about tax reform, which is the next milestone. Its implementation will enable the release of further funds, says Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission for Trade.
Romanians are counting on money from the EU Reconstruction Fund and have applied for EUR 29 billion in grants and loans, which is expected to constitute as much as 12 percent of their GDP. So far, they have received two advance payments and the first tranche of payments. Romanians will build a new highway in the east of the country. Some contracts with contractors of individual sections have already been signed.
The implementation of the reconstruction plan in Bulgaria is slowly but surely progressing. So far, Sofia has only received one transfer, which constitutes 22 percent of the total amount requested. Bulgarians want to use EU funds to build several new metro stations in the capital, among other things. They will spend EUR 245 million on the digitization of schools and the development of science classes. There will be 2,200 laboratories and modern classrooms. Interested schools have already applied, and now the contractors are being selected.
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