EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis calls for the acceleration of the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans to address the risks in some Member States. On the day when the EU Commission presented the country-specific recommendations, which member states will have to keep in mind when preparing budget laws for 2024, Dombrovskis underlines the importance of “commit to and ensure that the Pnrr are implemented correctly because there is the deadline of the end of 2026. Because it is very unlikely that this deadline will be extended, because it will require a unanimous decision of the member states which will involve in most cases a parliamentary procedure. So that’s something that would be very difficult. Therefore, Our message to Member States is to focus on implementing the plans and not on some sort of extension of deadlines”.
And on the Italian delays in implementing the Pnrr and the curb placed on the payment of the third tranche, the minister specifies the importance that no further delays occur and explains how necessary it is “to strengthen administrative capacity, particularly at the subnational level, to allow continuous, rapid and constant implementation of the Pnrr. Presenting the revised plan with the chapter RePowerEu to ensure its implementation, without lowering the overall ambition of the plan and without slowing down its implementation”.
On the emergency that has hit in recent weeks the areas of Emilia Romagna, Dombrovskis is keen to underline that the EU is at Italy’s side in facing this natural disaster. With a European civil protection mechanism already activated and field support from various countries. “Furthermore, the Emergency Response Coordination Center is in constant contact with the Italian authorities.” – continues the minister – “From the point of view of financial support, we have an area dedicated to post-disaster relief: there is the European Solidarity Fund which can provide support to Italy if it requests it and there are huge funds available for the adaptation of countries to climate change and for the reduction of geological risks under the cohesion policy and of the Pnrr”.
And then there’s the theme the improvement of the structural balance of 0.7% of GDP, which translates into an increase in national primary expenditure of 1.3%. The first thing the EU recommends to limit this increase is “to reduce energy support measures and to use the related savings to reduce the public deficit. Another important point for investments is to ensure rapid implementation of the Pnrr. Italy is the largest beneficiary in absolute terms of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (the main tool of Next Generation Eu that feeds the Pnrr, ed), large sums of money are available and Italy has also indicated an interest in receiving further loans by this tool. But it is important that investment projects are implemented safely and with zeal: a strong focus on the implementation of the plan will help with the green and digital transition”.
On the issue of regional autonomy in Italy instead, Dombrovskis distances himself: “We do not meddle in the constitutional issues of the member states, which must be discussed and decided by the member states. This is not a matter for the Commission when we discuss, for example, the implementation of the recovery and resilience plan. Indeed, we have underlined the need to ensure adequate administrative capacity, including in the Regions”.
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