EU’s recovery instrument needs stronger focus on investments

Today, BusinessEurope published its analysis of the National Recovery and Resilience Plans submitted by EU Member States to the European Commission. EU leaders had agreed in July 2020 on the historic €750 billion NextGenerationEU recovery instrument, based on common borrowing, to ensure all Member States have the means to rebuild and restructure their economies after this unprecedented crisis. The analysis, which draws on our member federation’s evaluations across the EU is part of BusinessEurope’s Reform Barometer 2021 report presented today.

BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said:

“It is imperative that the EU makes the most out of the once-in-a-generation opportunity. The NextGenerationEU instrument should focus stronger on investments that can drive long-term competitiveness, particularly in research and innovation. It must also focus on more ambitious growth-enhancing reforms.

The majority of plans are focused primarily on investment in single EU Member States, but we also need EU schemes for European cross-border projects. We must remove physical EU Single Market barriers, for example to improve railway infrastructure and renewable energy grids.

Most of our national business federations think the national RRPs will have some positive impact, but only 11% of them believe funds will sufficiently focus on boosting the recovery and help long-term growth and job creation. More than half of our member federations believe their country’s national recovery and resilience plans put insufficient focus on competitiveness, research, development and innovation.

Our member federations also recommend avoiding premature unwinding of supportive measures to businesses and workers. They expect lessons to be drawn from the COVID-19 crisis to ensure that sufficient safeguards are designed and implemented now to permanently guarantee the EU-wide free flow of goods, people and services in the future.”

See more about Recovery and Resilience Facility (incl. National recovery and resilience plans) here.

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