The Recovery plan presented on May 27 by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, sets the direction of the strong and ambitious response that the EU citizens requested for the economic recovery. The ambitious package, called the NextGenerationEU, came with a particular centrepiece entitled the Recovery and Resilience Facility. This programme offers large-scale financial support, of €672,5 billion, for both public investments and reforms. It will help Member States to both mitigate the economic and social impact of the crisis and address the longer-term challenges.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility offers financial support for public reforms and investments. In order to apply to the Recovery and Resilience Facility, Member States need to define Recovery and Resilience Plans, a long-term vision of minimum 3 years on the reforms and investment proposed.
Proposed top priorities for the EU and the Member States:
- Green transition (in the context of the Green Deal, e.g. sustainable economy and a clean and less polluted environment)
- Digital transformation (in the context of the Digital Agenda, e.g. digital infrastructure, digitization of national systems and workplace, improve access to digital working)
- Economy, productivity and competitiveness (in the context of achieving a Single Market and developing the Industrial Strategy, e.g. sustain the economy and support the recovery, incentives for adaptation to industrial policies, ecosystems and diversification of supply chains, finance for SMEs, measures for the accession of non-euro area Member States towards the euro area)
- Institutional resilience in view of increasing crisis-reaction capacity (e.g. strengthen the resilience, accessibility and capacity of the health system, improve the effectiveness of antimoney laundering supervision, minimise administrative burden to companies by improving the effectiveness of public administration and national systems)
- Social cohesion (e.g. in the context of the European Pillar of Social Rights, social security and social welfare systems, inclusive labour market policies including social dialogue, the creation of high-quality jobs, the fight against poverty, income inequality and gender inequality, the promotion of social inclusion, tackling energy poverty and creating equal opportunities)
- Policies for the Next Generation (in the context of the European Skills Agenda, e.g. promote education and skills, upskilling, reskilling and requalification of active labour force, integration programme for the unemployed, policies for children and youth, housing programme, policies that develop the silver economy).
This is a great opportunity for Cyprus to move towards a cleaner and more sustainable economy, a great opportunity to change our mindsets towards a better future for us and for the next generations and place Cyprus ‘on’ the map as a country that is clean, green, sustainable and digitally forward.