EC negotiating with government on request for extra RRP funds

  • Lusa
  • 24 May 2023

Portugal has expressed its intention to request €3.3 billion in additional loans under the RRP, the EC announced, also speaking of an additional €704 million through the RepowerEU program.

The European Commission is negotiating with the Portuguese authorities on milestones and targets for Portugal to access additional funding in the Recovery and Resilience Plan, pending the revised programme, which should be submitted to Brussels soon.

“In terms of the progress of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, RRP, (the EU post pandemic economic recovery bazooka funds) in general, we see that Portugal is making good progress in implementation. Portugal has already received two payment requests and we are currently negotiating the revision of the plan with the Portuguese authorities, which […] must present additional reforms and investments, as Portugal has requested additional funding,” Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice-president of the European Commission with the portfolio of “An economy at the service of the people”, told Lusa.

Speaking to the Lusa news agency and other European media in Brussels on the day it became known that Portugal has expressed its intention to request €3.3 billion in additional loans, Valdis Dombrovskis added that the EU executive and the Portuguese authorities are “discussing the exact content of these recommendations” of targets and milestones for the country to access further RRP loans.

“There is also additional funding available for the RepowerEU chapter,” the EU’s energy package, he points out.

Pointing out that “it is up to the Portuguese government to present the revised plan,” the European Commission’s executive vice-president calls for Portugal to “not lose focus and speed up the implementation of the RRP, also by ensuring adequate management capacity.”

Portugal has expressed its intention to request €3.3 billion in additional loans under the RRP, the European Commission announced today, also speaking of an additional €704 million in subsidies through the RepowerEU programme.

A European source explained to Lusa news agency that, under the RRP, Portugal expressed “its intention to request additional loans, in a range between €3.3 billion and €11 billion,” when the plan was revised.

Another source explained that it is more likely that the country will opt for €3.3 billion, although the actual amount of additional loans will only be known when it is officially submitted to the European Commission, which has not yet happened.

Even so, a community source told Lusa that the revised RRP and with the RepowerEU programme included should be submitted “within days or even hours” by Lisbon to Brussels.

Approved in 2021, the Portuguese RRP has a total budget of €16.6 billion, of which €13.9 billion in subsidies and €2.7 billion in loans. So far, under the RRP, Portugal has collected around €5.14 billion, of which €4.07 billion was in subsidies and €1.07 billion in loans.

The European Commission asked countries to submit their revised RRPs by April 1, but this was only an indicative date and “very few member states did so by that deadline and even now not many member states have submitted revised plans,” according to Valdis Dombrovskis.

“Therefore, there is no specific deadline for the submission of the revised plan, but there is an overall deadline until the end of 2026 for the implementation of the plan and the use of the available funds,” the official adds in the interview.

To date, the Commission has disbursed more than €152 billion to EU member states under national RRPs.

A further €80 billion in unclaimed loans is still available and must be requested by countries, if they so wish, by this coming August.