#NextGenerationEU Spain: España Puede Plan
The Spanish government will channel European reforms and aid through the plan España Puede. Spain will be the second largest recipient of funds, estimated at € 154,996 million euros between 2021 and 2023.
Next Generation EU
NextGenerationEU (NGEU) is a €750 billion temporary recovery instrument, which will be channeled through the EU’s long-term budget, particularly in the years 2021-2023 (Fig. 1).
The money from NGEU will be invested across several programs, and will be distributed to EU countries and beneficiaries through grants (€390 billion) and loans (€360 billion).
The majority of funds from NGEU (€672.5 billion) will be spent through the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) program. The RRF consists of large-scale financial support to public investments and areas such as green and digital projects. The support will be given out in the form of loans (€360 billion) and grants (€312.5 billion) (Fig. 2).
The Facility’s aim is to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.
The Facility is an opportunity to create European flagship areas for investments and reforms with tangible benefits for the economy and citizens across the EU. These should address issues that need significant investment to create jobs and growth, and which are needed for the green and digital transitions. The Commission strongly encourages Member States to put forward investment and reform plans in the areas shown in Fig. 3.
In order to receive support from the RRF, EU countries need to submit Recovery and Resilience Plans to the Commission, where they explain how they will spend the money. The plans should effectively address challenges identified in the European Semester, particularly the country-specific recommendations adopted by the Council. The plans should also include measures to address the challenges and reap the benefits of the green and digital transitions.
On April 14, the Spanish government presented its Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan as España Puede. Once the Spanish Council of Ministers has approved it, it is expected to be submitted to Brussels this Friday.
España Puede is based on four crosscutting themes: (1) ecological transition, (2) digital transformation, (3) gender equality and (4) social and territorial cohesion. It is designed around 10 structural reform levers (Fig. 4):
- Urban and rural agenda, the fight against rural depopulation and agricultural development.
- Resilient infrastructures and ecosystems.
- A just and inclusive energy transition.
- An administration for the 21st century.
- Modernisation and digitalization of the industrial fabric and SMEs, recovery of the tourism sector and promotion of Spain as an entrepreneurial nation.
- Pledge for science and innovation, and strengthening the capabilities of the national health system.
- Education and knowledge, lifelong learning and capacity building.
- The new care economy and employment policies.
- Promotion of the culture and sports industries.
- Modernisation of the tax-system for inclusive and sustainable growth.
These 10 levers are a part of 30 projects or lines of action that articulate, in a comprehensive and complementary way, the different drivers of structural reform, both regulatory and investment-focused (Fig. 5).
Which funds can the agro-food sector apply for?
According to Eleconomista.es, four ministries have European funds available for farmers and agro-food companies to boost their digitalization and environmental sustainability.
They will be able to access funds to be managed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. This will be through the Plan to Boost the Sustainability of Agriculture and Livestock, included in project 3, of lever number 1.
They will also be eligible for funds under project 12 (Spain 2030 Industrial Policy) of lever number 5: funds for innovation, digitalization and decarbonization managed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and funds for the implementation of the circular economy managed by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
In the same policy lever, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation will be responsible for project 15: Digital Connectivity, cybersecurity and deployment of 5G networks.
The Agro-food and Fisheries Recovery Plan
In addition to the funds available in other ministries, as mentioned above, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food presented a recovery plan for the sector last December. This three-year plan envisages public contributions of €1,051 million for the environmental and digital transformation of the agro-food and fishing sectors.
In presenting the plan, the minister stated that the objective was to "promote quality, sustainability, circular economy, organic production, as well as reduce food waste and generate value and employment around the agro-food and fisheries system".
The plan is supported by 9 policy initiatives to increase the efficiency of investments and, together with the other measures, boost the recovery of the economy.
- These include the following:
- Modification of the food chain law
- Development of the Emissions Information Registry
- Gradual revision of regulations in the livestock sectors,
- Legislative framework on sustainable nutrition in agricultural soils
- Boosting the sustainability of irrigation investments
- Execution of the II Action Plan of the Agro-food Digitalization Strategy
- Law on sustainable fishing and fisheries research
- Updating the regulation of the different fishing gears and modalities in national fishing grounds
- Law for the modernization of the control and sanctioning regime in fishing activities
The first €406.5 million of the 2021-2023 amount is already included in the National Budget for 2021.
This is the second article in a series on European recovery funds for Spain and the opportunities for Dutch agricultural companies to receive investment.
In future articles we will report on the instruments that will be used to distribute all recovery funds in Spain, as well as the distribution of European funds by ministries already included in the 2021 National Budget.
Read our first article here: https://bit.ly/3eIMu0i