EU/Presidency: Portuguese resilience plan with 36 reforms, 77 investments for €14 bln

The Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) to access EU post-crisis Covid-19 funds foresees that 47% of the funds are aimed at environmental sustainability, while 38% are aimed at digital transformation, above Brussels’ requirements.

After a draft presented to the European Commission last October and a process of talks with Brussels, the Portuguese government today puts the preliminary and summarized version of the RRP in public consultation, in which it guarantees to have a document “aligned with the relevant pillars of the policy” of the European Union (EU).

One of these pillars is the ‘green’ transition, area in which “the Portuguese RRP meets the threshold of 37% of its global investment with allocation to climate transition objectives, reaching 47%,” says the executive in the document, in a reference to the target set by the European Commission.

This means that, of the total ‘cake’ of 13.9 billion euros in grants from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, the main instrument of the new Recovery Fund of the European Union, Portugal plans to allocate 6.5 billion euros to climate transition.

The 37% target for ‘green’ issues was one of the requirements set by Brussels for member states’ national resilience and recovery plans, to which is added the obligation to dedicate at least 20% of the funds to digital transformation.

“The RRP integrates investments that exceed the 20% threshold, with the direct contribution of seven of the 19 components”, points out the Government.

Thus, of the total subsidies allocated to Portugal, around 5.3 billion euros – or 38% of the total – will be used for the digital transition.

The RRP “responds to “four major areas of concern” included in the recommendations made by Brussels under the European Semester, such as the need to ensure financial and institutional resilience, to boost the labour market and improve skills, to promote public and private investment and to improve conditions for businesses and citizens.

The European Commission also requires countries to have adequate control systems for these Community funds.

In this regard, Portugal has created a governance model with three levels of coordination: political coordination (Interministerial Commission of the RRP), monitoring level (National Monitoring Commission) and technical and management level (mission structure “Recovering Portugal”).

In all, the RRP now presented provides for 36 reforms and 77 investments in the social, climate and digitalisation areas, totalling 13.9 billion euros in subsidies.

There is also the possibility of using 2.7 billion in European loans for investment in affordable housing, business capitalisation and transport.

Provided with €672.5 billion in grants and loans, the Recovery and Resilience Facility is the main element of the recovery package agreed in 2020 by the EU to address the social and economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘NextGenerationEU’, with a total allocation of €750 billion, between grants and loans.