Spain: sustainable and digital recovery
The Spanish think tank Fedea has launched an initiative to provide proposals for overcoming the covid crisis as soon as possible, rebuilding the economy and facing future challenges. More than 120 experts (academics and professionals with experience in the private and public sectors) have worked together to draft reports on relevant policies and reforms for the recovery. In its report "For a competitive, green and digital economy after covid-19" Fedea offers recommendations for the good use of European recovery funds that will be activated in the coming months.
According to the authors of this report, "the use of European funds must follow long-term objectives to lay the foundations for a more competitive and sustainable economy. In order to make the most of the opportunity that this aid represents it is necessary to have good planning and rigorous selection of the projects that will be financed according to social profitability criteria.”
The conclusions highlighted in the report would be as follows:
- It is essential to increase private and public investment to stimulate the economy and overcome covid-19 crisis. Investment projects must undergo a rigorous process of evaluation and selection, based on their social profitability and with technical, not political, criteria.
- They should be "green investments" (that boost the sustainability and decarbonization of the economy) and "investments that promotes digitalization" in line with European priorities. In both cases, in addition to tangible goods or infrastructures, investments in training and R&D+i should be considered. The report provides detailed suggestions in both categories.
- It advocates the "creation of an independent agency" to ensure "that investment projects pass a minimum threshold of social profitability and that government departments that take investment decisions are not those that will evaluate the projects".
- This investment package must be part of a wider programme of reforms to increase the productivity and efficiency of the Spanish economy.
- The report also calls for greater use of tolls and the development of environmental taxation and refers to European competition and industrial policies.