Response from Strasbourg – Nikos Roussis
While it has not yet been decided to lift his immunity by the European Parliament, the Golden Dawn MEP Ioannis Lagos, unwittingly managed to get … a hare, for what is to be born with the EU Regulation and Resilience, by asking submitted to the Commission on 3 January 2021!
Opposing the Greek government, the Greek MEP had pointed out in his question that, eight months after the adoption of the roadmap for the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism (RRF) programs, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund + (ECF) + and REACT-EU, the Greek government has not made any use of the relevant funds, as it has not yet announced any action funded by these funds.
He asked the Commission if it knows why the Greek government has not used the above funds so far and what is the period during which Greece can use these funds.
Unfortunately for the Greek MEP but also for those who are immediately waiting for hot EU money for the recovery from the pandemic, with his answer today, Commissioner Dombrovskis, admits, among other things, that:
– This Regulation has only recently entered into force and Member States may submit their national plans by 30 April 2021.
– The Commission can not borrow and therefore disburse funds until all Member States have ratified the own resources decision in accordance with their constitutional rules.
– The deadline for the Member States to meet the milestones and targets is 31 August 2026, while payments of financial contributions and loans must be made by 31 December 2026!
Following is the Commissioner’s entire enlightening response today:
Answer given by the Executive Vice President, Mr Dombrovskis, on behalf of the European Commission (30.3.2021).
“The RRF Regulation has only recently entered into force, and the Commission has already begun working with the Greek authorities to support them in drawing up their national plan.
Member States may submit their national plans by 30 April 2021, the Commission shall evaluate them within two months of their receipt and the Council shall approve the respective national recovery and resilience plans on a case-by-case basis within four weeks. Finally, the Commission can not borrow and therefore disburse funds until all Member States have ratified the own resources decision in accordance with their constitutional rules.
RRF disbursements will be linked to the satisfactory completion of milestones and targets. Member States may request pre-financing of up to 13% of the approved financial envelope.
The Commission could then make the payment immediately after the plan was approved and the legal commitment approved. The deadline for Member States to meet the milestones and targets is 31 August 2026, and payments of financial contributions and loans must be made by 31 December 2026.
With regard to the cohesion policy funds, the regulatory framework for 2021-2027 has not yet been adopted, but informal negotiations and constructive discussions are under way, based on the draft partnership agreement.
Greece, meanwhile, has made use of the exceptional flexibility provided for in the Coronavirus Investment Initiative package to modify its 16 cohesion programs to address the COVID-19 crisis. About EUR 1.32 billion from EU cohesion funding has been reallocated to support small and medium-sized enterprises. “