EU member states formally approved on Tuesday recovery plans submitted by 12 countries — including France, Italy and Spain — while doubts hang over the proposal from Hungary.
The European Union is gradually rolling out its 750 billion euro recovery plan and this green light means that the dozen countries can receive the first instalment of the sums promised.
Further payouts will depend on whether national governments deliver on reforms and commitments that the money spent will meet pre-set targets on advancing Europe’s green and digital investment priorities.
Spain and Italy will be the main beneficiaries of the plan, with a total of almost 70 billion euros in subsidies over the next five years, ahead of France with almost 40 billion euros.
With this support, “the member states can start the reforms and investments needed for the recovery, strengthening and transforming of our economies,” said Andrej Sircelj, the finance minister from Slovenia, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency.
Only two countries out of 27 — Bulgaria and the Netherlands — have yet to submit their proposals.
Hungary’s proposal has turned into a political headache, with the European Commission yet to sign off on it due to concerns about Budapest’s commitment to fighting corruption and good governance.