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The European Commission has adopted a positive assessment of Finland’s recovery and resilience plan. This is an important step towards the EU disbursing € 2.1 billion in grants to Finland under the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (FRR). Funding provided by the RRF will support the implementation of critical investment and reform measures outlined in Finland’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. It will play an important role in enabling Finland to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RRF is the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide up to € 800 billion (at current prices) to support investment and reforms across the EU. The Finnish plan is part of an unprecedented coordinated EU response to the COVID-19 crisis, to address common European challenges by embracing green and digital transitions, to strengthen economic and social resilience and market cohesion unique.
The Commission assessed Finland’s plan on the basis of the criteria set out in the RRF Regulation. The Commission’s analysis notably examined whether the investments and reforms contained in the Finnish plan support the green and digital transitions; contribute effectively to tackling the challenges identified in the European Semester; and strengthen its potential for growth, job creation and economic and social resilience.
Securing Finland’s green and digital transitions
The Commission’s assessment shows that the Finnish plan is devoting 50% of its total allocation to measures that support climate goals. Finland has announced an ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. The reforms and investments included in the plan will make an important contribution to Finland’s achievement of this goal. The plan addresses each of the most emitting sectors in turn, namely energy, housing, industry and transport. It includes reforms to phase out the use of coal in power generation, tax changes to promote cleaner technologies, and a reform of the waste law with increased recycling and reuse targets. On the investment side, the plan will finance clean energy technologies and associated infrastructure, decarbonization of industry, replacement of oil-fired boilers with low or zero carbon heating systems and private and public recharging points for consumers. electric cars.
The Commission’s assessment shows that the Finnish plan devotes 27% of its total allocation to measures supporting the digital transition. The plan includes measures to improve high-speed internet connectivity, especially in rural areas, to support the digitization of businesses and the public sector, to strengthen the digital skills of the workforce and to support development. key technologies such as artificial intelligence, 6G and microelectronics.
Strengthening Finland’s economic and social resilience
The Commission considers that Finland’s plan includes a broad package of mutually reinforcing reforms and investments which contribute effectively to tackling the economic and social challenges described in the country-specific recommendations addressed to Finland in recent years.
It contains a wide range of reform measures aimed at increasing the employment rate and strengthening the functioning of the labor market, ranging from transforming public employment services to improving and facilitating access. social and health services. The plan includes specific measures to provide support for the integration of young people and people with partial incapacity for work. The plan also includes measures to strengthen the effective monitoring and enforcement of the Finnish anti-money laundering framework.
The plan represents a comprehensive and balanced response to the economic and social situation in Finland, thus contributing appropriately to the six pillars referred to in the RRF Regulation.
Support flagship investment and reform projects
The Finnish plan proposes projects in the seven key European areas. These are specific investment projects, which address issues common to all Member States in areas that create jobs and growth and are necessary for the green and digital transition. For example, Finland has offered to provide € 161 million for investments in new energy technologies and € 60 million for decarbonization of industrial processes to support the green transition. To support the digital transition, the plan will invest 50 million euros in the deployment of broadband services and 93 million euros to support the development of digital skills as part of continuing training and labor market reforms.
The Commission’s assessment concludes that none of the measures included in the plan significantly harm the environment, in accordance with the requirements set out in the RRF Regulation.
The Commission considers that the control systems put in place by Finland are adequate to protect the financial interests of the Union. The plan provides sufficient detail on how national authorities will prevent, detect and correct cases of conflict of interest, corruption and fraud related to the use of funds.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I am delighted to present the European Commission’s approval of Finland’s € 2.1 billion recovery and resilience plan. I am proud that NextGenerationEU is making a significant contribution to Finland’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035. The plan will also help strengthen Finland’s reputation for excellence in innovation by supporting the development of new technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence, 6G and microelectronics. We will be with Finland throughout the implementation of the plan to ensure that the reforms and investments it contains are fully realized.
An economy that works for people Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President, said: “The Commission today gave the green light to Finland’s recovery and resilience plan, which will put the country on a greener path and more digital as it recovers from the crisis. The plan will help Finland meet its ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2035, with reforms and investments that will reduce carbon emissions from energy production, housing, industry and transport. We welcome the emphasis on high-speed connectivity, especially for sparsely populated areas, to help maintain their economic activity, and on the digitization of small businesses and the public sector. With reforms to boost employment and strengthen the labor market, the Finnish plan will promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth once it is implemented.
Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said: “Finland’s 2.1 billion euro recovery and resilience plan has a strong focus on the green transition. No less than 50% of its total allocation is intended to support climate goals, thus helping to accelerate the country towards its ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. The plan also contains a series of measures aimed at boosting digital competitiveness already strong from Finland. I particularly welcome the strong social elements of the Finnish plan, with measures to increase the employment rate, fight against youth unemployment and facilitate access to social and health services.
The Commission today adopted a proposal for a decision to award EUR 2.1 billion in grants to Finland under the RRF. The Council will now generally have four weeks to adopt the Commission proposal.
The approval of the plan by the Council would allow the payment of 271 million euros to Finland in pre-financing. This represents 13% of the total amount allocated for Finland.
The Commission will authorize further disbursements on the basis of the satisfactory achievement of the milestones and objectives defined in the recovery and resilience plan, reflecting the progress made in the implementation of investments and reforms.
Questions and answers: European Commission approves Finland’s 2.1 billion euro recovery and resilience plan
Finland’s Recovery and Resilience Plan Factsheet
Proposal for a Council implementing decision on the approval of the assessment of the recovery and resilience plan for Finland
Annex to the proposal for a Council implementing decision on the approval of the assessment of the recovery and resilience plan for Finland
Staff working document accompanying the proposal for a Council implementing decision
Recovery and resiliency facility
Recovery and Resilience Center: Questions and Answers
Regulation respecting recovery and resilience facilities