EU cohesion ministers to discuss strategic objectives and implementation of recovery funding
EU ministers responsible for regional and structural policy, or cohesion policy, will hold a high-level video conference on 29 September to discuss ways of using the EU’s recovery instrument in the Member States to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. State Secretary Kimmo Tiilikainen will represent Finland at the meeting on behalf of Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä.
The high-level video conference will be held at the initiative of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
All European countries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the effects differ between regions, cities and municipalities because they depend on a variety of factors, including local adaptability and innovation capacity and the carrying capacity of social and education services. In July 2020, the European Council decided on the EU’s next multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the EU Recovery Instrument (Next Generation EU), creating a foundation for regional and structural policy measures for responding to pandemic-driven challenges.
The recovery instrument will be worth EUR 750 billion, distributing to Member States EUR 390 billion in grants and EUR 360 billion in loans. It will consist of many different EU financial instruments and programmes, the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) being the largest. The RRF will allocate more than EUR 670 billion in grants and loans. Finland is estimated to get about EUR 2.3 billion in grants.
“It is important for the recovery of the European economy that Member States use the recovery instrument for fast-acting measures that reform the economy. We can then use regional and structural policy to continue with the reform on a long-term basis,” says State Secretary Kimmo Tiilikainen.
To get funding from the RRF, Member States must prepare national recovery and resilience plans. The video conference is an opportunity for the Member States to present and exchange views on their national plans.
Finland’s national plan, called Finland’s sustainable growth programme, is currently being drafted in collaboration with region, cities and stakeholders. It will be based on six priorities:
- Returning Finland to a sustainable growth track through education, research and innovation
- Supporting structural change in the economy through a green transition
- Securing Finland’s international competitiveness
- Strengthening sustainable infrastructure and the digital transformation
- Ensuring the functioning of the labour market, services for the unemployed and development of working life
- Improving access to health and social services and increasing their cost-effectiveness
Nina Alatalo, Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7171
Petri Haapalainen, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 4922