Written by Marin Mileusnic.
The Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument and its centrepiece, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), are the largest-ever EU financing tools, created to mitigate the socio-economic fall-out of the pandemic. The facility is organised around six pillars representing policy areas of EU relevance that require strengthening in order to make the EU economies and societies robust and futureproof. The pillars define investment priorities and the scope of financing under the RRF. This briefing focuses on the ‘Policies for next generation’ pillar and in particular on the policy measures in education, training and skills, early childhood education and care that the Member States have laid out in their individual National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs).
These NRRPs are required to list reforms and investments the Member States commit to making in order to meet the RRF objectives. To receive RRF grants and loans, the Member States should have successfully completed the relevant milestones and targets that accompany the planned measures. That is, the facility is a performance-based instrument, as specified in the RRF Regulation. Even though it only plays a supporting role in education policy, the EU has made RRF funding available for actions in this policy area to address the structural shortcomings in the education sector – likely worsened by the COVID-19 crisis – across all Member States. Tackling these shortcomings efficiently can guarantee recovery and resilience, maintain alignment with the job market and ultimately safeguard the integrity of the single market.
The RRF is defined as a one-off instrument that would be discontinued after 2026, following the implementation of all the measures included in the NRRPs. While the main EU initiatives for education policy are defined in the long term and thus extend beyond the planned lifetime of the RRF, the facility is nevertheless capable of supporting large-scale investment and reforms with a medium- to long-term impact. The European Parliament welcomes the measures in the areas of education and training built into the NRRPs, and encourages the development of a European dimension in the Member States’ education policies.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Education policy in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.