Vice President of the EU Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis calls for speeding up the implementation of National Recovery and Resilience Plans to address risks in some Member States. On the day the EU Commission presented the country-specific recommendations, which Member States should take into account when preparing budget laws for 2024, Dombrovskis stressed the importance of “committing and ensuring that the Pnrrs are implemented correctly because there is a 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 that will imply 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 in some kind of extension of deadlines”.
And about the Italian delays in the implementation of the Pnrr and the brake on the payment of the third tranche, the minister specified the importance of not producing more delays and explained the need to “strengthen administrative capacity, particularly at the subnational level, to allow the continuous, rapid and constant implementation of the Pnrrr Presentation the revised plan with the chapter RePowerEu to ensure its implementation, without diminishing the overall ambition of the plan and without slowing down its implementation.
On the emergency that has struck in recent weeks the areas of Emilia Romagna, Dombrovskis wishes to underline that the EU is on Italy’s side in dealing with this natural disaster. With a European civil protection mechanism already activated and support on the ground from several countries. “In addition, 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 care: there is the European Solidarity Fund that can provide support to Italy if it asks for it and there are huge funds available for the adaptation of countries to climate change and for the reduction of geological risks in the framework of cohesion policy and Pnrr” .
And then there is the issue the improvement in the structural balance of 0.7% of GDP, which translates into an increase in national primary spending of 1.3%. The first thing that the EU recommends to limit this increase is to “reduce energy support measures and use the related savings to reduce the public deficit. Another important point for investments is to ensure a rapid implementation of the Pnrr. Italy is the largest beneficiary in absolute terms of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (the main Next Generation Eu tool that feeds the Pnrr, ed), large sums of money are available and Italy has also shown interest in receiving more loans of this tool. But it is important that investment projects are implemented safely and with enthusiasm: a strong focus on the implementation of the plan will help with the green and digital transition.”
On the question 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. In fact, we have underlined the need to ensure adequate administrative capacity, including in the Regions”.
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