NextGenerationEU: European Commission endorses Denmark’s €1.5 billion recovery and resilience plan

The European Commission has today adopted a positive assessment of Denmark’s recovery and resilience plan. This is an important step paving the way for the EU to disburse €1.5 billion in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) over the period 2021-2026. This financing will support the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Denmark’s recovery and resilience plan. It will play an important role in enabling Denmark emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RRF – at the heart of NextGenerationEU – will provide up to €672.5 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across the EU. The Danish plan forms part of an unprecedented coordinated EU response to the COVID-19 crisis, to address common European challenges by embracing the green and digital transitions, to strengthen economic and social resilience and the cohesion of the Single Market.

The Commission assessed Denmark’s plan based on the criteria set out in the RRF Regulation. The Commission’s analysis considered, in particular, whether the investments and reforms set out in Denmark’s plan support the green and digital transitions; contribute to effectively addressing challenges identified in the European Semester; and strengthen its growth potential, job creation and economic and social resilience.

Securing Denmark’s green and digital transitions

The Commission’s assessment of Denmark’s plan finds that it devotes 59% of total expenditure on measures that support climate objectives. These measures include tax reforms, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and agricultural sector initiatives. They all aim at modernising the Danish economy, creating jobs and lowering greenhouse gas emissions as well as strengthening environmental protection and protecting biodiversity.

The Commission’s assessment of Denmark’s plan finds that it devotes 25% of total expenditure on the digital transition. Measures to support Denmark’s digital transition include the development of a new national digital strategy, increased use of telemedicine, rollout of broadband in less populated parts of the country and fostering digital business investments.

Reinforcing Denmark’s economic and social resilience

The Commission’s assessment considers that Denmark’s plan includes an extensive set of mutually reinforcing reforms and investments that contribute to effectively addressing all or a significant subset of the economic and social challenges outlined in the country-specific recommendations addressed to Denmark by the Council in the European Semester in 2019 and in 2020. It includes measures to frontload private investments, support the twin (green and the digital) transition and foster research and development.

The plan represents a comprehensive and adequately balanced response to Denmark’s economic and social situation, thereby contributing appropriately to all six pillars of the RRF Regulation.

Supporting flagship investment and reform projects

Denmark’s plan proposes projects in several European flagship areas. These are specific investment projects which address issues that are common to all Member States in areas that create jobs and growth and are needed for the twin transition. For example, Denmark will provide €143 million to foster energy efficiency for households and industry as well as through energy renovations of public buildings.

The assessment also finds that none of the measures included in the plan significantly harm the environment, in line with the requirements laid out in the RRF Regulation.

The controls systems put in place by Denmark are considered adequate to protect the financial interests of the Union. The plan provides sufficient details on how national authorities will prevent, detect and correct instances of conflict of interest, corruption and fraud relating to the use of funds.

Members of the College said:

President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Today, the European Commission has decided to give its green light to Denmark’s €1.5 billion recovery and resilience plan. Denmark is already a front-runner in the green and digital transitions. In focusing on reforms and investments that will further accelerate the green transition, Denmark is setting a powerful example. Your plan demonstrates that Denmark is looking to the future with ambition and confidence.”

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “The Danish recovery plan provides a complete roadmap to an upgraded recovery, with a strong focus on the green transition. Over half of the total funding is dedicated to green objectives, such as clean transport and a green tax reform helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We welcome the ambition to future-proof the economy by supporting the roll-out of high speed internet to rural areas, and digitalising the public administration, businesses big and small as well as the healthcare sector. The implementation of the reforms and investments included in the plan will help accelerate Denmark’s transition to a next-generation economy.”

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “Denmark’s recovery and resilience plan will provide European support to advance its ambitious green transition, an area in which the country is already a pioneer. This is the right priority for Denmark. Considering also the plan’s numerous measures to advance the digital transition, I am very confident that NextGenerationEU will deliver real benefits to the Danish people over the coming years.”

Next steps

The Commission has today adopted a proposal for a Council Implementing Decision to provide €1.5 billion in grants to Denmark under the RRF. The Council will now have, as a rule, four weeks to adopt the Commission’s proposal.

The Council’s approval of the plan would allow for the disbursement of €200 million to Denmark in pre-financing. This represents 13% of the total allocated amount for Denmark.

The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.

 

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