Brussels (Brussels Morning) Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg have received pre-financing from the European Commission, a total of 15 billion euros under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Part of the NextGenerationEU, the RFF is set to help EU countries weather the economic impact of COVID-19.
Belgium, Luxembourg and Portugal are the first three countries to receive pre-financing under the RFF, the Commission stated.
A break-down of the financing shows that the Commission paid 770 million euro to Belgium, 12.1 million euro to Luxembourg and 2.2 billion euro to Portugal by way of pre-financing.
Essentially, pre-financing is designed to help implement the essential investment and reform measures described in national plans for recovery and resilience.
“After three very successful bond issuances under NextGenerationEU over the past few weeks, and the first payments for other related programmes, I am glad that we have now also reached the disbursement stage for the RRF”, Budget and Administration Commissioner Johannes Hans declared.
Based on the progress of implementation of the investments and reforms proposed in the countries’ recovery and resilience plans, the Commission determines whether or not to authorise new payments.
Over the life of its plan, Belgium is expected to receive a total of 5.9 billion euro and Luxembourg 93.4 million euros, in the form of subsidies.
“Belgium is already an innovation front-runner, but NextGenerationEU will give the country the resources needed to go fully green and digital”, Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen said.
Portugal is expected to receive a total of 16.6 billion euro — 13.9 billion in grants and 2.7 billion in loans.
“The first funds we disbursed today will help Portugal emerge stronger from the crisis. Portugal’s plan will reform and digitalise the public administration. Investments in energy-renovations and forest management will help protect the climate”, Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni observed.
The payments to the three EU member states follow the first successful borrowing operation implemented under NextGenerationEU.
By the end of 2021, the Commission intends to raise some 80 billion euro in long-term finance, complemented by short-term EU debt instruments, to finance the first payments planned for EU countries under the NextGenerationEU.
The NextGenerationEU is a temporary stimulus instrument of around 800 billion euros intended to support investment and reform across member states. Of the total, 723.8 billion euro is being allocated to the RRF.
The recovery and resilience plans are part of the EU’s first-time response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis.