The European Commission adopted today (July 19) a positive assessment of the Czech recovery and resilience plan. This is an important step towards the EU disbursing € 7 billion in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (FRR). This funding will support the implementation of critical investment and reform measures outlined in the Czech Republic’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. He will play a key role in helping Czechia emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide € 800 billion (at current prices) to support investment and reform across the EU. The Czech plan is part of an unprecedented coordinated EU response to the COVID-19 crisis, to address common European challenges by embracing green and digital transitions, to strengthen economic and social resilience and market cohesion unique.
The Commission assessed the Czech plan on the basis of the criteria set out in the RRF regulation. The Commission’s analysis notably examined whether the investments and reforms foreseen in the Czech plan support the green and digital transitions; contribute effectively to tackling the challenges identified in the European Semester; and strengthen its potential for growth, job creation and economic and social resilience.
Ensuring the green and digital transition of the Czech Republic
The Commission’s assessment of the Czech plan reveals that it devotes 42% of its total allocation to measures that support climate goals. The plan includes investments in renewable energy, the modernization of district heating distribution networks, the replacement of coal-fired boilers and the improvement of the energy efficiency of residential and public buildings. The plan also includes nature protection and water management measures as well as investments in sustainable mobility.
The Commission’s assessment of the Czech plan reveals that it devotes 22% of its total allocation to measures that support the digital transition. The plan includes investments in digital infrastructure, the digitization of public administration, including the areas of health, justice and the administration of building permits. It promotes the digitization of companies and digital projects in the cultural and creative sectors. The plan also includes measures to improve digital skills at all levels, within the education system and through dedicated upgrading and retraining programs.
Strengthening the economic and social resilience of the Czech Republic
The Commission considers that the Czech plan effectively addresses all or an important subset of the economic and social challenges described in the country-specific recommendations addressed to the Czech Republic by the Council during the European Semester in 2019 and 2020.
The plan includes measures to meet investment needs in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, sustainable transport and digital infrastructure. Several measures aim to address the need to foster digital skills, improve the quality and inclusion of education and increase the availability of childcare services. The plan also provides for improving the business environment, mainly through extensive e-government measures, reform of building permit granting procedures and anti-corruption measures. The challenges in the field of R&D will be improved by investments aimed at strengthening public-private cooperation and financial and non-financial support for innovative companies.
The plan represents a comprehensive and adequately balanced response to the economic and social situation in the Czech Republic, thus contributing appropriately to the six pillars referred to in the RRF Regulation.
Support flagship investments and reform projects
The Czech plan proposes projects in the seven key European areas. These are specific investment projects that address issues common to all Member States in areas that create jobs and growth and are necessary for the dual transition. For example, the Czech Republic has offered 1.4 billion euros to support the energy retrofit of buildings and 500 million euros to strengthen digital skills through education and investments in skills upgrading and retraining programs. entire workforce.
The Commission’s assessment concludes that none of the measures included in the plan cause significant damage to the environment, in accordance with the requirements set out in the RRF Regulation.
The provisions proposed in the recovery and resilience plan with regard to control systems are adequate to prevent, detect and correct corruption, fraud and conflicts of interest related to the use of funds. The provisions should also make it possible to effectively avoid double funding under this Regulation and other Union programs. These control systems are complemented by additional audit and control measures contained in the Commission proposal for a Council implementing decision as milestones. These steps must be taken before the Czech Republic submits its first payment request to the Commission.
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Today the European Commission has decided to give the green light to the recovery and resilience plan for the Czech Republic. This plan will play a crucial role in supporting a transition to a greener and more digital future for the Czech Republic. Measures that improve energy efficiency, digitize public administration and discourage the misuse of public funds are exactly in line with NextGenerationEU’s goals. I also welcome the plan’s focus on strengthening the resilience of the Czech health system to prepare it for future challenges. We will be by your side every step of the way to make sure the plan is fully implemented.
Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said: “The Czech Republic’s recovery and resilience plan will greatly boost the country’s efforts to recover from the economic shock that triggered the pandemic. The € 7 billion in NextGenerationEU funds that will go to Czechia over the next five years will support a broad program of reforms and investments to build a more sustainable and competitive economy. They include very significant investments in building renovation, clean energy and sustainable mobility, as well as measures to strengthen digital infrastructure and skills and the digitization of public services. The business environment will benefit from the promotion of e-government and anti-corruption measures. The plan will also support improved health care, including strengthening cancer prevention and rehabilitation care.
The Commission today adopted a proposal for a Council implementing decision to award EUR 7 billion in grants to the Czech Republic under the RRF. The Council will now generally have four weeks to adopt the Commission proposal.
The approval of the plan by the Council would allow the payment of 910 million euros to the Czech Republic in the form of pre-financing. This represents 13% of the total amount allocated to the Czech Republic.
An economy that works for people Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President, said: “This plan will put the Czech Republic on the road to recovery and boost its economic growth as Europe prepares for the green and digital transition. The Czech Republic intends to invest in renewable energies and sustainable transport, while improving the energy efficiency of buildings. It aims to deploy greater digital connectivity across the country, promote digital education and skills, and digitize many of its public services. And it focuses on improving the business environment and the justice system, supported by anti-corruption and e-government promotion measures, all in a balanced response to the economic situation. and Czech social. When properly implemented, this plan will help put the Czech Republic on a solid footing for the future. “
The Commission will authorize further disbursements on the basis of the satisfactory achievement of the milestones and targets set in the Council’s implementing decision, reflecting the progress made in the implementation of investments and reforms.