What is the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility?

In partnership with The European Commission
What is the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility?
Copyright euronews
By Bryan Carter
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This €723.8 billion temporary recovery instrument aims to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and help Member States advance green and digital transitions.

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The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is a €723.8 billion finance package, in the form of grants and loans, that forms part of a wide-ranging response to help the post-pandemic recovery in European Union Member States.

This temporary recovery instrument aims to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and make EU countries more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions. 

What is the Recovery and Resilience Facility?

The Recovery and Resilience Facility, which entered into force on 19 February 2021 and will last until August 2026, is the centrepiece of NextGenerationEU - the EU's COVID-19 economic recovery package for EU member states.

The RRF allows the European Commission to raise money to help Member States implement reforms and investments that are in line with the EU’s priorities. 

Every EU country has specific priorities for RRF investment, like boosting sustainable transport, digitising public services, protecting biodiversity, or energy-efficient building renovations.

The Facility is structured around six pillars:  

  • green transition 
  • digital transformation
  • smart, sustainable and inclusive growth
  • social and territorial cohesion
  • health, economic, social and institutional resilience
  • policies for the next generation

How do Member States access the funds?

To access this support, Member States submit their recovery and resilience roadmaps with clearly stated targets to the European Commission

Each plan sets out the reforms and investments to be implemented by august 2026 and should address challenges identified in the European Semester - the EU's framework for the coordination and surveillance of economic and social policies.

Once the recovery and resilience plans have been submitted, they are assessed by the European Commission, and then approved by the European Council on a case-by-case basis.

How does theRecovery and Resilience Facility work in practice?

Once approved by the Council, the EU pays up to 13% of total support upfront, in order to kick-start the Member State's recovery.

From then on, the Recovery and Resilience Facility funding is performance-based. Member States unlock payments periodically when the agreed targets and milestones are met. 

Countries can request disbursements up to twice a year. 

To finance this support package, the European Commission borrows money on the capital markets. 

Member States will start repaying the loans from 2028, and this repayment will be spread over 30 years, until 2058. The grants will be repaid by the EU budget.

How else can theRecovery and Resilience Facility help Europe?

As well as helping EU countries in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the RRF is also at the heart of the implementation of the REPowerEU Plan, the Commission’s response to the socio-economic hardships and global energy market disruption caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Furthermore, as well as setting Europe on a path towards a digital transition, the RRF aims to help EU Member States work towards and prepare for the green transition, and achieve a greener and more socially inclusive economy.

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