The European Commission has today disbursed €2.2 billion to Portugal in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the grant and loan component of the country's financial allocation. Portugal is one of the first countries receiving a pre-financing payment under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). It will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Portugal's recovery and resilience plan.
The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Portugal's recovery and resilience plan. The country is set to receive €16.6 billion in total over the lifetime of its plan (€13.9 billion in grants and €2.7 billion in loans).
Today's disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to Member States under NextGenerationEU.
Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across Member States. The Portuguese plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies.
Supporting transformative investments and reform projects
The RRF in Portugal finances investments and reforms that are expected to have a deeply transformative effect on Portugal's economy and society. Here are some of these projects:
-Securing the green transition: Several projects in Portugal's recovery and resilience plan support Portugal's green transition. This includes a large-scale renovation programme financed with €300 million to increase the energy efficiency of residential buildings.
-Supporting the digital transition: The Plan also covers measures worth €300 million to modernise the computer systems of the National Health Service and increase the digitalisation of medical records compliant with appropriate security principles.
-Reinforcing economic and social resilience: The RRF finances the “Youth Impulse” project with €130 million that aims to upgrade science facilities in secondary schools and universities to raise enrolment rates in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics courses. This project has a particular focus on women to promote gender equality and counter stereotypes in career choices.
Members of the College said
President Ursula von der Leyen i said: “Today's disbursement is a landmark moment in the rollout of Portugal's recovery and resilience plan - the first NextGenerationEU plan we approved in the EU! This plan was designed in Portugal, with the Portuguese people's best interests at heart. It will make the European Green Deal i a reality in the country, digitalise the economy and make it more robust than ever. Now, implementation begins. We will stand by your side each step of the way.”
Johannes Hahn i, Commissioner for Budget and Administration, said: “After three very successful bond issuances under NextGenerationEU over the past few weeks, and the first payments for other NGEU programmes, I am glad that we have now also reached the disbursement stage for the RRF. Intense cooperation with Portugal and solid preparation within the Commission allowed us to pay out the funds in record time. This shows that with the resources raised, we will be able to swiftly deliver on the pre-financing needs of all Member States, thus giving them the initial boost in implementing the numerous green and digital projects included in their national plans.”
Paolo Gentiloni i, Commissioner for Economy, said: “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. The ambitious skills programme will give the opportunity to many Portuguese to acquire new skills. All this is the result of Europe working together.”
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