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NextGenerationEU: European Commission endorses positive preliminary assessment of France's request for €7.4 billion disbursement under the Recovery and Resilience Facility

The European Commission recently (26 January 2022) endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of France's payment request for €7.4 billion of grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.

On 26 November 2021, France submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 38 milestones and targets selected in the Council Implementing Decision for the first instalment. They cover reforms in the areas of public finance, housing, mobility, unemployment insurance, skills, and health, as well as France's audit and control system for the implementation of the RRF. Several targets also concern major investments in the fields of energy renovation of buildings, decarbonisation of industry, clean vehicles, research, youth employment, and education.

With their request, the French authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 38 milestones and targets. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.

The French recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures in nine thematic components. The plan will be supported by €39.4 billion in grants, 13% of which (€5.1 billion) was disbursed to France in pre-financing on 19 August 2021.

Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Member States implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.

Nexts teps

The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of France's fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this payment to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC's opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission's assessment. Following the EFC's opinion, the Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the disbursement to France can take place.

The Commission will assess further payment requests by France based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.

The amounts disbursed to the Member States are published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard, which shows progress of the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans.

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