Positive preliminary assessment of Spain's third payment request for €6 billion under the Recovery and Resilience Facility #NextGenerationEU

The European Commission has today endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Spain's payment request for €6 billion (net of pre-financing) in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.

On 11 November 2022, Spain submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 24 milestones and 5 targets set out in the Council Implementing Decision for the third instalment. The milestones and targets fulfilled demonstrate again the significant progress made in the implementation of Spain's recovery and resilience plan.

In relation to reforms, they include, among others, the entry into force of the law on telecommunications to facilitate the deployment of high capacity network infrastructure; reforms to accelerate the installation of electric charging infrastructure in car parks; the reform of the law on insolvency to improve the efficiency of insolvency procedures; a reform  to improve the vocational training system and foster its attractiveness; the law against tax evasion and fraud; a reform of the social security contribution system for the self-employed and the review of the current supplementary pension system. The milestones and targets also confirm progress on investments, most notably related to renewable energy production by local communities; the digitalisation and promotion of cultural services; and support to research, development and investments in projects aimed at making the car industry more sustainable.

With their request, the Spanish authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 24 milestones and 5 targets. As required by the RRF Regulation, Spain has also confirmed that measures related to previously satisfactorily fulfilled milestones and targets have not been reversed. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.

Based on the evidence submitted by the Spanish authorities and the controls carried out, the Commission has also concluded that Spain has ensured continued compliance with Milestone 173. In the framework of the first payment request, the Commission and the Member States had considered that Milestone 173 – putting in place an IT system to monitor and control the plan – was satisfactorily fulfilled. To ensure continued compliance with Milestone 173 and its audit and control obligations included in the Financing Agreement, Spain made a number of additional commitments which have now been assessed as satisfactorily fulfilled.

Spain's recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures organised in 30 thematic components. The plan will be supported by €69.5bn in grants, 13% of which (€9 billion) was disbursed to Spain as pre-financing in August 2021. Moreover, a first payment worth €10 billion was disbursed to Spain on 27 December 2021. A second payment worth €12 billion was disbursed to Spain on 27 June 2022.

RAPID, IP/23/841, 16.2.2023
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