Today the European Union proves that it leaves no one behind. The Renew Europe Group welcomes the agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on REPowerEU chapters in the national Recovery and Resilience Plans, intended to offer Member States additional funds to accelerate the end of the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, while tackling the current climate and energy crisis.
Thanks to Renew Europe’s leadership, the adopted text reinforces the cross-border dimension of the projects, particularly those addressing bottlenecks in terms of energy generation, storage and interconnections along the EU as a priority (at least 30% of the total estimated costs of REPowerEU projects), while considering targeted measures to shelter European vulnerable households and companies, especially SMEs.
During the negotiations, our political group also pushed for stronger provisions on enhancing monitoring and transparency of the funds. Namely, Member States will need to make public a list of the top 100 recipients in the country benefiting the most from the recovery funds. We also secured adequate application of the Do No Significant Harm Principle (DNSH) to the reforms and investments contributing to the REPowerEU goals. In this regard, both European Commission and Member States should undertake enough efforts to limit the potential harm to environmental objectives.
As for the financing aspects, Renew Europe warns that it will be particularly vigilant to ensure that changes in national Recovery and Resilience plans are directly linked to the purpose of the REPowerEU package. Finally, consultation of stakeholders was another important aspect for us in order to address the potential reforms and investments to be included in the legislation.
MEP Dragoş Pîslaru (REPER, Romania), Renew Europe co-rapporteur on this file, declared:
“Europe delivered a historic instrument of solidarity that will directly reach citizens and SMEs. Keeping down energy bills and dependency on Russian fossil fuels, through investments in energy efficiency and renewables, will soon become reality for vulnerable consumers and to SMEs. Renew Europe gave me a clear mandate: transparency, ambition and flexibility for citizens and SMEs that need to use REPowerEU. I hope Member States will make full and quick use of this instrument, while also respecting the provisions that our group included in the agreement: an enhanced consultation with the stakeholders and the creation of a public portal with the list of final recipients that receive the largest amount from REPowerEU. Today I am proud to say we created a green and independent path for consumers and SMEs."
MEP Eva Poptcheva (Ciudadanos, Spain), Renew Europe Budget shadow rapporteur on this file, added:
"REPowerEU sets a crucial precedent in terms of cross-border and multi-country projects. It sets effective incentives for Member States to work together in solving common challenges, such as the energy security crisis. In terms of transparency, we left the negotiations victorious. From now on, Governments will need to publish a list of the top 100 recipients of recovery funds in their countries. The public will finally know where the European money is going."