On 10 December, EU leaders gave their final green light to the EU’s unprecedented budget deal to overcome the worst recession in a century. In total, up to €1.8 trillion will be spent by 2027 to boost the bloc’s economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst also making it more sustainable and digital, partly thanks to the €750 billion recovery fund.
This represents a unique opportunity for a fast and transformative recovery. At the moment, many companies are collapsing. Others are struggling to survive or have to reconsider their investment plans. People are losing their jobs, and uncertainty reigns free in our societies. From the macroeconomic point of view, these adverse developments could easily cumulate thus aggravating the situation, especially if the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is not properly and timely implemented.
We need to move fast. EU countries must urgently reach an agreement on the whole package of #NextGenerationEU, thus enabling the financial support for recovery to be disbursed and rolled out as soon as possible, in a fully contra-cyclical fashion.
Financial support from the RRF will be channelled to member states following the adoption of their National Recovery plans which are currently being drafted.
National Recovery Plans have to become the blueprint of national recovery efforts, reform processes and guidelines for the green and digital transition, thus combining the cyclical and structural measures.
The way National Recovery programmes are designed and then implemented will indeed determine how well we weather the current crisis, how companies can survive, but also how our economies shall develop and grow in the future.
It is thus essential to provide the best possible support to business to survive, grow, and embark on the green and digital transition, taking into account the specific needs of SMEs.
The Recovery plans will be successful only if they reflect the reality on the ground. This is why they should be developed and implemented in close cooperation with regional and local authorities, civil society organisations, and social partners.
With this in mind, it is essential that relevant stakeholders are involved in the consultation on NRPs at all stages of their development, drafting and implementation.
If stakeholders are properly involved in this process, they will ultimately have full ownership of the plans and will be able to implement measures correctly and successfully, taking into account the specific needs of the economic sectors most severely hit by the crisis ensuring speedy recovery, growth and jobs.
To this end, we the employers call on all EU governments to involve the social partners and civil society organisations in a timely and relevant manner.