The European Parliament adopted a Resolution on the European Commission’s assessment of national recovery plans. The text received the support of the majority of MEPs, including Renew Europe.
The messages of the resolution are clear and reflect Renew Europe’s priorities. On reforms, to get the Commission’s approval plans must be serious. On investments, they also must go to people and not only to things. And on fraud and corruption, under no condition can money go to fraudsters and cronies.
Ambitious, relevant and transparent reform and investment plans.
“This is the moment of truth”, declared Luis Garicano, (Ciudadanos, Spain), Renew Europe spokesperson for economic affairs, “The Commission cannot bow down to political pressure from national governments and must stick to the reform and investment agenda of the European recovery plan. All recovery plans should contribute to address the relevant country-specific recommendations, and plans have to be consistent with previous successful reforms agreed at the European level”
On investments, “the EU recovery plan must also invest in people and not only in things added Mr. Garicano. “The money should go into boosting countries' productivity long-term. We have to train our youth. Give people skills. Invest in research. Set up future-proof, green and digital infrastructures. The money cannot go into short-term spending only that will just be a rush of sugar. We cannot just subsidize the purchase of durable consumption goods.”
Like digitalisation, the green requirements are in the law, they have to be met. Renew Europe also included in the text a call for the European Commission “to ensure that national plans meet the 37% green spending requirement, and that no investments do a harm to the environment as defined in Taxonomy rules. Biodiversity challenges must also be addressed and not pushed into the background” said Valérie Hayer (Renaissance, France), Budgets committee coordinator for Renew Europe and EP negotiator for MFF and Own resources.
Rule of law and combatting fraud and corruption
Renew Europe negotiators put the respect for rule of law at the centre of the Resolution. “EU money cannot be used by authoritarian wannabes for undemocratic reforms and unlawful projects. Therefore, the Commission must reject any plan that goes against our common values”, stated Valérie Hayer. She added: “We need to give EU law enforcement agencies, such as OLAF and the newly-created EPPO, the task to ensure this unprecedented amount of money is well-spent. Citizens would expect no less.”
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