Portugal’s Recovery Plan helps greener, digital, future – Von der Leyen

  • Lusa
  • 14 July 2021

"With €16.6 billion, NextGenerationEU will help Portugal become greener, more digital and better prepared for the future," said Ursula von der Leyen on her official Twitter account.

The president of the European Commission on Tuesday said that the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan, which received final approval, will help “Portugal become greener, more digital and better prepared for the future.”

“With €16.6 billion, NextGenerationEU will help Portugal become greener, more digital and better prepared for the future,” according to a message from Ursula von der Leyen on her official Twitter account, written in Portuguese.

Von der Leyen was reacting to the approval by the European Union’s finance ministers of 12 recovery and resilience plans, having written individual messages on the plans of each of the member states in question.

Concerning Portugal, the president of the European Commission also stressed that this was good news for the country and that financing can start to arrive.

On Tuesday, the Ecofin Council approved the first 12 Recovery and Resilience Plans, including Portugal, which in the coming weeks will receive the first disbursement of the overall ‘slice’ of €16.6 billion.

Meeting in Brussels, EU finance ministers formally approved the first package of plans formulated by member states and already validated by the European Commission to access funds from the ‘NextGenerationEU’ recovery package, giving their endorsement – the so-called ‘Council implementing decision’ – to the RRPs of Portugal, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Slovakia, Spain, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia and Luxembourg.

Once this first package of national investment and reform plans has been approved, all that remains for the European Commission to do is to conclude the financing agreements – which regulate the transfer of the grants – and the loan agreements with the 12 member states, which should take place in the coming days, so that the first funds can be released, under the 13% pre-financing (of the total amount for each Plan) provided for in the regulation, which should then happen this month or in early August.

At a press conference after the meeting, the finance minister, João Leão, welcomed the approval of the plans, saying it would allow the first cheque of around €2 billion to arrive in Portugal possibly still this month.

“With this approval of the plan, the planned €16.6 billion can start flowing to Portugal, to the economy and to the main reforms that the country needs to make,” the minister said, adding that today’s ‘green light’ from the Ecofin Council will allow that within the next few weeks, possibly even this month, the first cheque will arrive in Portugal to help finance the economic and social recovery that the country needs.

The minister said that Portugal would receive a second cheque in 2021, already for the implementation of the plan, because it is planned to make a first assessment this year of the milestones and targets set out in the plan, so it is possible a second disbursement, no longer pre-financing, but depending on the targets set, either at the end of this year or early next year.