The European Commission has today disbursed €5.1 billion to France in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country’s financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in France’s recovery and resilience plan.
The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in France’s recovery and resilience plan. The country is set to receive €39.4 billion in total, fully consisting of grants, over the lifetime of its plan.
Today’s disbursement follows the recent successful implementation of the first borrowing operations under NextGenerationEU. By the end of the year, the Commission intends to raise up to a total of €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills, to fund the first planned disbursements to Member States under NextGenerationEU.
Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across Member States. The French plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies.
Supporting transformative investments and reform projects
The RRF in France finances investments and reforms that are expected to have a deeply transformative effect on France’s economy and society. Here are some of these projects:
Securing the green transition: The RRF invests €5.8 billion for the renovation of buildings, financing a large-scale renovation programme to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. The RRF also invests in decarbonised hydrogen, with €1.9 billion for the development of value chains for decarbonised hydrogen.
Supporting the digital transition: The RRF supports the digitalisation of companies with €385 million, by helping business make the best use of digital technologies. The RRF also supports the digitalisation of public administration, improving the efficiency of the public administration and the quality of the working environment of public officials with €500 million.
Reinforcing economic and social resilience: The RRF finances the modernisation of the health system with €2.5 billion for renovating hospitals and healthcare facilities, building outpatient facilities, and modernising medical infrastructure and equipment. The RRF also supports jobs and training for young people, investing €4.6 billion in training opportunities in higher education and targeted hiring subsidies for youth. The RRF also supports reforms to improve the quality and efficiency of public expenditure.
Members of the College said:
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “With this first disbursement, the support of NextGenerationEU becomes now concrete in France. With its recovery and resilience plan, France invests in the economy of tomorrow, with a strong focus on the green and digital transitions, but also on competitiveness and social and territorial cohesion.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration said: “After three very successful bond issuances under NextGenerationEU over the past few weeks, and the first payments for other NGEU programmes, I am glad that we have now also reached the disbursement stage for the RRF. Intense cooperation with France and solid preparation within the Commission allowed us to pay out the funds in record time. This shows that with the resources raised, we will be able to swiftly deliver on the pre-financing needs of all Member States, thus giving them the initial boost in implementing the numerous green and digital projects included in their national plans.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy said: “The first funds we disbursed today will help France emerge stronger from the crisis. France’s recovery and resilience plan is clearly oriented towards the green transition, financing a wide range of projects from building renovations to clean mobility. It also has a very strong digitalisation component, with investments to bring ultrafast broadband to rural areas, support digital skills development and roll out eHealth services. The whole of France stands to benefit from this comprehensive and ambitious plan.”