Ongoing assessment of national Recovery and Resilience Plans by the Commission
Greens/EFA letter to the European Commission
To: Commission President Ursula von der Leyen,
Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni,
Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Elisa Ferreira
CC: Céline Gauer, Maarten Verwey
Dear Commission President,
Dear Executive Vice-Presidents,
The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is a remarkable institutional achievement for the EU and a unique opportunity to supercharge both the green and digital transitions. If well executed, the RRF will counter the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, foster European solidarity, and advance territorial cohesion. The successful implementation of the RRF will also strengthen the case for a common European fiscal architecture and can serve as its blueprint.
We MEPs from the Greens/EFA Group are convinced that a failure of the RRF to live up to the expectations of EU citizens will undermine our common European objectives. We believe this view is fully shared by the European Commission. To ensure that the RRF’s impact is lasting, sustainable, and fairly distributed across societies, the priorities and provisions which co-legislators agreed upon in Regulation (EU) 2021/241 must now be strictly enforced when assessing national recovery and resilience plans (RRPs). For this reason, we take the Parliament’s duty to scrutinise the Commission’s implementation of the Regulation very seriously. Together with our colleagues in the parliamentary RRF scrutiny group, we have invested substantial time and effort into reviewing individual national plans, aggregating stakeholder views and examining the Commission’s explanations in the various exchanges and working documents.
Unfortunately, our work has left us with serious doubts about the compliance of many measures in national RRPs with the requirements of the underlying Regulation. In a number of cases, the Commission’s responses to our questions on these measures have left us concerned that not enough is being done to ensure that national plans adhere to the letter - and the spirit - of the law. We have identified many cases where the detailed requirements in the Regulation and Commission guidance for the application of the ‘do no significant harm’ principle and the categorization of green investments have been circumvented, ignored or simply not addressed - leading to green-washing and in some cases to a potential breach of the 37% spending requirement for green investment. We have also identified shortcomings beyond the green dimension of the national plans, for example with respect to the application of state aid and competition rules in digital investments, the absence of concrete measures to encourage the participation of SMEs and startups or the failure to address gender-related or anti-corruption country-specific recommendations (CSRs).
Below we have listed several examples from national plans grouped by areas of concern where we see a risk of noncompliance with the Regulation. The list is not exhaustive, but representative of potential noncompliance across the RRPs. Given that new plans are being submitted as we write this letter, we may write to you again with additional considerations and/or examples.
We urge you to keep the long-term success of the RRF in mind when you assess the submitted plans and to reject measures that do not comply with the regulation. You will have our full political support for enforcing compliance with the Regulation via your assessment and its transposal in the draft Council Implementing Acts.
Ska Keller, Philippe Lamberts, Damian Boeselager, Ernest Urtasun, Alexandra Geese, Jordi Solé and Bas Eickhout
The below points are divided into 7 categories:
- 01 Mis-application of the 37% Green spending requirement
- 02 Violations of the ‘do no significant harm’ principle
- 03 Lack of compliance with EU environmental laws
- 04 State-aid, protection of fair competition and access of SMEs to RRF funds
- 05 Territorial cohesion and involvement of local and regional authorities and stakeholders
- 06 Failure to implement gender-related CSRs and requirements in the plan
- 07 Addressing potential misuse in the RRF implementation