Written by Magdalena Sapała with Nina Thomassen.
Since the beginning of 2021, Member States and EU institutions have been preparing intensively to launch the recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU). In order to make this unique financial stimulus package fully operational, many conditions have needed to be met and preparatory steps completed.
First, preparations have been ongoing for the spending of the biggest part of NGEU (90 %) under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). This process includes the drawing up of national recovery and resilience plans by the Member States, their evaluation by the European Commission, and approval by the Council of the EU. Up to 15 September 2021, most of the national plans submitted have been positively assessed by the Commission and approved by the Council (18). Based on this, the Commission concluded agreements with those Member States on a legal commitment authorising the financial contribution to be made, and the first transfers of EU aid (pre-financing) were made on 3 August. In the case of some countries, however, the assessment procedure has been delayed.
In parallel, the system for financing NGEU had to be created almost from scratch. It is based on borrowing operations carried out by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union. These operations could start only once all Member States had ratified the Own Resources Decision (ORD), which was done by the end of May 2021. In the meantime, the Commission was preparing for its role of borrower on an unprecedented scale. At the beginning of the summer, it started implementing its diversified funding strategy for the financing of NGEU. In three issuances successfully conducted so far, the Commission has raised €45 billion in total out of the €80 billion planned for 2021.
This is an update of a Briefing of 7 June 2021.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Recovery plan for Europe: State of play, September 2021‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.