Late last night, the European Parliament and the Member States reached a deal on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the new instrument designed to help EU countries that have suffered the adverse effects of the global pandemic.
"At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EPP Group was the first to call for a Recovery Fund because the crisis requires the biggest ever financial solidarity in Europe. We were right and we now warmly welcome the agreement. This extraordinary instrument will address both the effects of the pandemic and help Member States implement reforms which will increase their resilience. This is a powerful sign that solidarity is back at the heart of Europe”, said Siegfried Mureşan MEP, who is the co-lead negotiator for the European Parliament.
“The biggest achievement is that EU citizens, through the European Parliament, will control the functioning of the fund. The Parliament will be involved in all stages, from the preparation of national plans to their evaluation and subsequent approval and implementation. This is good news. Thanks to the efforts of the EPP Group, the RRF will have full democratic legitimacy”, stated Mureşan.
“The money will be used to help people and enterprises affected by the crisis, to make our Union stronger and more resilient, to reform, to stay competitive, to become more modern, digital and greener. Europe will not leave any person or country behind in this pandemic, but there must be conditions for Member States to use the RRF. The RRF cannot be used to fill holes in national budgets. We also defended the role of the European Semester and agreed that once the economic situation improves, countries shall respect EU deficit rules, while benefitting from the RRF. The funds are for investments, not for political populism", Mureşan stressed.
“Among our achievements is also better control of how funds are spent. Those who do not abide by the rules will be forced to repay the funds. More good news is that the funds will be subject to adherence to the rule of law, so that we ensure that money does not go to those who breach our common values”, concluded Mureșan.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States