The Federal Government and the Federated Entities approve the first draft of the Recovery Plan
The federal government and the federated entities have reached a political agreement on a first version of the Recovery and Resilience Plan and on the distribution of European subsidies between the different entities of the country. The agreement will soon be ratified by the Consultation Committee.
Following the decision of the Consultation Committee on 23 November 2020, a call for contributions (investment projects and reform proposals) was launched by the Secretary of State for Recovery and Strategic Investments, Thomas Dermine, to all the country's governments.
All of the proposals from the various governments were discussed during an unprecedented and intensive working process between the cabinets of the Federal Government and the federated entities. On the basis of this work, a first draft of the Recovery and Resilience Plan was drawn up and validated by all stakeholders. It aims to accelerate investment in such critical issues as environmental transition, digitalisation, mobility, inclusion and productivity.
"This is an important step in our recovery strategy that has just been taken. It shows that cooperation can be a reality in our country on which we must build the future. The objective is to have an ambitious plan that will enable Belgium to face major challenges such as the digital and environmental transition and social inclusion", comments Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. "On this basis, we will be able to submit an initial document to the European Commission to refine the guidelines contained in the draft plan," continues State Secretary for Recovery Thomas Dermine.
This work process was carried out in a spirit of broad consultation, even beyond government circles. Thus, the social partners via the Central Economic Council (CCE) and the players making up the Federal Council for Sustainable Development (CFDD) have already submitted own-initiative opinions. Other civil society actors, in particular representatives of environmental and youth associations, have been keen to make their contribution.
On 11 January, the Federal Government and the federated entities also took a position on a budget allocation for the various governments. As a reminder, the initial budget of €5.15 billion was revised to €5.9 billion. These amounts are still likely to be re-evaluated until 2023 according to the evolution of macro-economic parameters. "The final objective being to arrive at a plan whose total estimated cost is close to the available envelope (€5.925 billion), it is necessary to finalise the selection of priority projects and to reinforce their quality and coherence by the time the plan is submitted in April 2021. "The Secretary of State insists.
"The final date for submission of the recovery plan is common to all Member States. The final date for submission is the end of April 2020. To meet this deadline, a first complete draft must be submitted by the end of January at the latest. On the basis of today's agreement, Belgium should be on time with regard to this important European objective", Thomas Dermine concludes.