As the Covid crises eases and the economic fallout from a year of protracted lockdowns looms large, EU governments are finalising their national recovery and resilience plans linked to the €750bn Next Generation or Covid-19 recovery fund.
The fund was finally agreed by member states along with the €1.1trn EU budget for the next seven years.
The Next Generation or Covid fund is an historic step for the EU because it allows the European Commission to borrow money on capital markets and distribute it in the form of grants and low-interest loans.
The rules stipulate that 37% of the money must be spent supporting projects on climate change and at least 20% on digitalisation of the economy.
The fund gives the commission considerable oversight over national spending plans. The commission’s role includes signing off member state plans and allocating money. The first dispersals are…