The European Commission has endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of 54 milestones and targets linked to Italy’s third payment request under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU. It also endorsed the targeted revision of Italy’s plan, related to the fourth payment request.
Italy’s third payment request
On 30 December 2022, Italy submitted to the Commission a third payment request based on the milestones and targets set out in the Council Implementing Decision. After assessing the evidence provided by the Italian authorities, the Commission considered 39 milestones and 15 targets to be satisfactorily fulfilled.
One target related to the number of new places in student accommodation was not covered by the assessment. Italy has requested to amend this target and replace it with a milestone related to the awarding of initial contracts for providing new places in student accommodation. This milestone will be added to the fourth payment request.
This implies that the amount related to the target would be transferred to the fourth instalment upon approval of the proposal for a Council Implementing Decision by the Council. The amount corresponds to €519.5 million in loans.
The 54 milestones and targets that have been satisfactorily fulfilled demonstrate significant progress in the implementation of Italy’s recovery and resilience plan. They cover wide-ranging, transformative reforms in the areas of competition law, the justice system, public and tax administration, as well as in education, the labour market and the healthcare system. The payment request also covers investments to foster the digital and green transition, and to improve support for research, innovation and education.
Italy’s targeted revision of its plan
Italy has requested to make targeted amendments to measures included in its plan under the fourth payment request. The Commission’s positive assessment of this request was adopted today.
The targeted changes concern measures on accelerating and prioritising energy efficiency interventions under the so-called ‘Superbonus’, the expansion and development of childcare facilities, the development of the space industry, of the film industry (namely, Cinecittà), sustainable transport, boosting and greening the railway sector, support for research and development activities in the industrial sector, financial support for women-led enterprises, and fostering the non-profit sector in Southern regions, including for education and training purposes. Amendments to correct clerical errors are also included. As mentioned above, a new milestone related to new places in student accommodation will be added to the fourth payment request.
Following an assessment of Italy’s proposed modifications, the Commission concluded that the Italian plan still complies with the criteria set out in the RRF Regulation. Importantly, the Commission has found that the plan’s overall ambition is not affected by the amendments, given their targeted nature.
In line with Articles 21 and 24 of the RRF Regulation:
- As regards Italy’s third payment request, the Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of the milestones and targets that Italy has satisfactorily fulfilled to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC’s opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission’s final assessment. Following the EFC’s opinion on the positive preliminary assessment, the Commission will adopt the decision on the payment, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the payment of €18.5 billion to Italy can take place.
- As regards Italy’s targeted revision of its plan, the Council will now have, as a rule, four weeks to adopt the Commission’s endorsement of Italy’s proposed changes to the fourth payment request.
The Commission will assess further payment requests by Italy based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.
The Commission strongly encourages all member states, including Italy, to proceed with the timely implementation of their respective recovery and resilience plans.
The amounts disbursed to the member states are published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard, which shows progress of the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Italy has shown much progress in rolling out crucial reforms and investments included in its recovery and resilience plan. Reforming the healthcare, justice and tax systems. Investing in digital public services and in making public transport more sustainable. Opening up new possibilities for businesses to thrive, thanks to a law on competition. Once member states give their greenlight too, Italy will receive €18.5 billion under NextGenerationEU. Today, we have also endorsed Italy’s proposed targeted changes to its plan, ahead of its fourth payment request. We will continue to stand by Italy every step of the way to ensure the plan will be an Italian and European success. Avanti tutta, con Italia Domani.”
Italy’s recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures organised in six thematic areas (the so-called “Missions”). The plan is supported by €191.6bn, €69bn in grants and €122.6bn in loans, 13% of which (€9bn in grants and €15.9bn in loans) was disbursed to Italy in pre-financing on 13 August 2021. Moreover, a first payment worth €21bn was disbursed to Italy on 13 April 2022 and a second payment worth €21bn was disbursed on 9 November 2022.
Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on member states implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.
Share this article: