The deadline for EU member states to submit recovery plans to the European Commission (EC) is set to expire today.
Each member state will submit its plans for investment projects, which spell out how each government wants to spend its share of the EU’s $898 billion joint borrowing scheme. The EC requires governments to spend 37% of the funds they receive on reducing CO2 emissions and 20% on supporting digitization through projects like building high-speed internet networks and transportation infrastructure.
While countries like Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Greece have already presented their national plans to the EC, half the member states will likely send their schemes later in May. Funds may be disbursed from mid-2021 onwards, though delays are likely as disbursement will depend on the plan being ratified by all 27 national EU parliaments. Fear over such uncertainty—only 19 out of 27 member states have ratified their plans—could hamper the rollout until 2022. In the long-term, the EU fund could boost the bloc’s growth with green digital technologies at the center of its strategy between 1.5% and 4.1% over five years and support some of its most indebted credit rating states, such as Italy and Spain.
Valeria is a research analyst for the Current Developments team and a regular contributor to the Daily Brief. As the head of the Latin America – Caribbean research desk, she focuses on Latin American politics, foreign policy and security issues.