EU funds put the brakes on until June by committing only 7,700 million


The deployment of European funds would have encountered new bottlenecks in the first section of this year. Until June only 7,700 million euros would have been committed, which represents a slowdown compared to last year, when the call for subsidies and tenders accelerated notably. This is clear from the report ‘The double challenge of Spain: completing the execution of the Recovery Plan and taking advantage of the new opportunity offered by the Addendum’, prepared by the consultancy LLYC, which takes stock of the management of the Next Generation as of June 30, 2023.

The firm computes the funds as committed when the corresponding call or notice of tender is published, even if the start of the period for registering applications is later. Thus, if during 2021 20,620 million euros were committed, mainly during the second semester (since the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan was approved in April of that year) and During the past financial year, more than 14,000 million who had committed on average (with 12,856 million in the first and 15,540 million in the second), the volume of funds committed during the first half of 2023 has dropped those 7,770 million.

There would be two main reasons for this slowdown. On the one hand, the prolonged final negotiation of the Addendum, that is, the update of the document approved in July 2021, so that Spain can access the 7,700 million euros of additional transfers and the 84,000 of loans from the NextGenationEU funds. The Executive sent the text to Brussels on June 7 and the Commission is currently within two months to rule on it (although it could extend it). In case of giving its endorsement, the Addendum would go to the Council of the European Union, which will have to deliberate in a month and decide whether to give its final approval to it.

The other reason for the stagnation of the funds would be, according to the consultant, the delay in the publication of the reform of the General Regulation of Exemption by Categories, which the European Commission approved last February but which still does not appear in the official journal of the European Union. The firm also points to other causes, such as the resolution of pre-notifications of programs presented to the Commission with the aim of expanding its endowment (as is the case of the call for hydrogen valleys) or organizational changes in key ministries for the execution of the Recovery Plan.

The management data of the funds by the CCAAs, without updating

In what has to do with the management itself (the resolution of the calls, with the awarding of subsidies and tenders), only the updated data on the funds that depend directly on the State, while there is still no updated record of all the information referring to the autonomies. This was, in fact, the criticism made at the time by the mission of MEPs from the Committee on Budgetary Control of the European Parliament. This group was visiting Spain last February and recommended that the Executive make progress in the accessibility and clarity of information on the deployment of the aforementioned funds.

Thus, the LLYC report indicates that the funds dependent on the General State Administration (AGE) as of June 30, calls and tenders worth 22,076 million euros were resolved. This amount supposes 63.69% of the 34,660 million committed in total by said administration and 31.4% of the 70,316 million corresponding to the Recovery Plan. The rate of allocation of funds by the AGE is 73.91%, in line with the figures it had been registering at the end of last year. That is, three out of every four euros are awarded to the final beneficiaries, while one out of every four euros remains unallocated, becoming a surplus. The AGE would have already awarded, therefore, 16,316 million euros, 23.2% of the total that depend on it.

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