The challenge with EU recovery funds
The article analyses the main challenges Spain will have to face in order to use the funds it will receive from the European Union in the recovery plan under the European Council’s resolution of 21 July 2020. According to the author, it is “a unique opportunity to launch an investment and reform programme ambitious enough to […] have robust, more sustainable and inclusive economic growth”.
According to the author, the main challenge will be ‘subjecting government to indigestion from EU funds’. Not turning the EU’s budgetary effort to account would severely damage our credibility and waste the push for reforms apparently opening up with this window of opportunity.
To tackle this challenge successfully, the author gives various recommendations:
- Investment planning: it is necessary to avoid the “bureaucratic allocation” of funds between government institutions and administrative offices; prioritise investments that are actually in line with long-term recovery and transformation plans; and concentrate funds in a few transformational projects instead of multiple small projects without a real impact.
- Management and certification: To use the largest amount of funds available, it is necessary to create “a project preparation service with sufficient material and human resources to sustain a pipeline of quality investment projects, like the delivering units that were implemented in the United Kingdom during the government of Tony Blair”.
- Connection to a national strategy for economic and social reforms: Investment plans must be connected to political reforms in order to access the funds.