Last Updated on Friday, 27 January, 2023 at 4:07 pm by Andre Camilleri
The European Commission today endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Malta’s payment request for €52.3 million (net of pre-financing) in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU, the commission said in a statement.
On 19 December 2022, Malta submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 16 milestones and three targets set out in the Council Implementing Decision for the first instalment.
The milestones and targets fulfilled demonstrate significant progress made in the implementation of Malta’s recovery and resilience plan and its broad reform and investment agenda, the commission said. They include important measures such as the adoption of a strategy to reduce waste through recycling in the construction sector, the establishment of office facilities to enable civil servants to work remotely across the country, reforms to boost industrial research and investments, a national anti-fraud and corruption strategy and reforms to digitalise the justice system.
With their request, the Maltese authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 16 milestones and three targets. The Commission said it has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
The Maltese recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures organised in 6 thematic components. The plan will be supported by €258.3 million in grants, 13% of which (€41.1 million) was disbursed to Malta in pre-financing on 17 December 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.
The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of Malta’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 Malta can take place.
The Commission will assess further payment requests by Malta 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.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said:“ I have good news for Malta. Given its successful first set of reforms and investments, the country is ready to receive a first payment under NextGenerationEU. Once Member States give their greenlight, Malta will receive over 50 million euros as a result of its good progress on its national recovery and resilience plan, which is worth nearly 260 million euros. Malta has been working, for example, on strengthening the fight against corruption and increasing the independence of the judiciary.Malta has also stepped up mapping investments in industrial innovation and improved waste management, to the benefit of the circular economy. Finally, we welcome the important measures to make school buildings more energy-efficient. Keep up the good work, Malta! The Commission stands by your side, on your way to recovery.