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Wouter Gelade

  • Dinsdag 8/2/2022
    Bisciari / Gelade / Melyn

    This article analyses the Recovery and Resilience Plans submitted by the four big euro area countries (Germany, France, Italy and Spain) and Belgium. These Plans describe the investments and reforms that they intend to carry out with a view to strengthening their economies. A s required, the five countries considered will use the EU grants mainly to finance green and digital investment. Italy, Spain and France also intend to spend about 1/3 of the grants on other projects such as labour market, education and skills; R&D and innovation; cohesion; health;... In exchange for a higher share of grants, Italy and Spain have committed to more comprehensive reforms designed to effectively address their imbalances and structural weaknesses than Germany, France and Belgium. Italy and Spain have already implemented substantial reforms in 2021 before the first instalment of grants was requested. Others will follow as soon as in 2022. Going forward, actual implementation will be key. In Belgium, the EU grants should be an opportunity to help push through structural reforms supporting the green and digital transitions and enhancing the growth potential.

  • Vrijdag 14/1/2022
    Bisciari / Gelade / Melyn

    Economists regard COVID-19 as a global and exogenous shock. In response, the EU set up a recovery plan consisting of grants and favourable loans to Member States over 2021-2026. The pandemic affected countries dependent on tourism more than the other countries. The recovery plan therefore involves an aspect of solidarity by providing grants and by taking into account both the initial vulnerability and the economic damage caused by COVID-19 in the Recovery and Resilience Facility allocation criteria for the grants. Thanks to these criteria, Italy and Spain are the main beneficiaries in terms of grants. Together with loans, this will boost their economic activity over the medium term more than in Germany, France and Belgium.

    In exchange for EU grants and loans, all countries must submit Recovery and Resilience Plans describing the investments and reforms that they intend to carry out with a view to strengthening their economies. Belgium was expected to receive only € 5.9 billion worth of grants. This amount might even be substantially lower once the effective GDP losses for 2020 and 2020-2021 are known in spring 2022. Nevertheless, as a small open economy, Belgian GDP might benefit more from the Recovery and Resilience Plans implemented in Germany, France, Italy and Spain than from its own plan.