Written by Velina Lilyanova.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the main element of the EU’s innovative financing instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU), established with the aim to drive the EU’s post-pandemic economic recovery towards a resilient future. The RRF is a performance-based instrument from which Member States can receive funds once they have met prior commitments (milestones and targets). The funds help the Member States make the reforms and investments they have envisaged under their dedicated national recovery and resilience plans (NRRPs).
Digital transformation is one of the six policy areas around which the RRF is built. Given its high priority for the EU, each national plan has to allocate at least 20 % of its resources to digital targets. The funds are meant to complement financing from the EU budget and national budgets and help achieve the EU’s digital objectives by 2030. This briefing focuses on the digital measures that address one of the four cross-cutting strategic EU priorities: the digitalisation of public services (the other three being digital skills, digital infrastructure and digital transformation of businesses).
All NRRPs acknowledge that the digital transformation of government is key to the success of the single market and the most efficient way to provide faster, cheaper and better services. Therefore, they include measures on digital public services – worth roughly €46.5 billion in total (excluding the Netherlands and Hungary) – tailored to each country’s context. The COVID-19 crisis highlighted the importance of digitalising public services, but the goal here extends far beyond this crisis. It involves creating a modern, transparent and efficient public administration that applies less costly and time-consuming administrative processes and provides a supportive environment for businesses in the long run. According to the Commission, the relevant measures in the NRRPs can make a lasting impact on the Member States’ economies and societies through the structural changes they would bring to their administrations, institutions and policies.
The measures in the plans are aligned with the EU’s digital commitments under the eGovernment action plan, the 2017 Tallinn Declaration on eGovernment and the Berlin Declaration on Digital Society and Value-based Digital Government, and with the European flagship ‘Modernise’ (digitalisation of the public administration), which is included in the 2021 annual sustainable growth strategy.
Read the complete briefing on ‘Digital public services in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.