NextGenerationEU Funds: What, How and For What
In this article we would like to help heads of organizations, both public and private, offering answers to questions about the European Funds: “NextGenerationEU” and why and how they can be used.
What are the European Funds: “NextGenerationEU”?
The European Council approved on June 21, 2020 the creation of the NextGenerationEU program, the largest instrument of economic stimulus ever financed by the European Union, to respond collaborative and coordinated manner to one of the worst social and economic crises in our history, and help repair the damage caused by the Covid pandemic. These funds seek to build a Europe that is greener, more digital and more resilient to the changes and challenges of the future through two major financial instruments.
- European Mechanism for Recovery and Resilience (MRR)
- Recovery Aid for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe (REACT-EU)
Within the framework of the funds of the European Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (MRR), Spain has worked intensively on the definition of a plan that allows to increase productivity and potential growth, moving towards a green, digital, inclusive Spain, with greater social and territorial cohesion, and without gender gaps. Spain will receive a total of 70,000 million euros in non-refundable transfers and more than 70,000 million euros in loans.
How can I benefit?
From the second quarter of 2021, and at least until the end of 2023, the different administrations will publish calls for public tenders, grants and aid aimed at meeting the objectives of the plan (ecological and digital transition, territorial and social cohesion, and gender equality). The objective is for small companies to be the major beneficiaries of the financing actions scheduled in the Plan. Small entrepreneurs will be able to benefit from the funds through the calls published by both ministries, Autonomous Communities and municipalities, depending on their competences.
For this, it will be necessary for all potential beneficiaries to submit proposals to the different calls financed by the Recovery Plan, which may be managed by the General State Administration, autonomous communities or local entities. All of them will enable the necessary mechanisms for the adequate participation of SMEs in the different calls.
To facilitate access to the information, a web portal of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan has been created in order to centralize and channel all the information on it for all those interested in accessing the funds.
The situation derived from COVID-19 has accelerated the digitization process in Europe and Spain, highlighting its strengths and also its shortcomings, both from an economic, social and territorial perspective. In order for the digital transformation to be inclusive and sustainable, the backbone of territorial and social cohesion, it is necessary to urgently address the digital transition, guaranteeing access to society as a whole, promoting the digitization of the company -especially SMEs and startups- and industry, R + D + i, and digital training of the population. For this reason, for the strategic definition of the Recovery Plan, the European Commission has highlighted seven emblematic areas owing to their potential for job creation and growth, of which 4 are digital:
- Connection: deployment of fast broadband services in all regions and homes, including fiber and 5G networks.
- Modernization: digitization of the Administration and public services.
- Expansion: increase of industrial capacities in the field of data in the cloud and development of the latest generation and sustainable processors.
- Recycling and professional improvement: adaptation of educational systems with special attention to digital skills and education, and professional training for all ages.
What can I use them for?
In the General State Budgets (PGE) for 2021, a first item of 26.6 billion euros corresponding to Next Generation EU funds has already been incorporated. Previously, in July 2020, the Government presented the called Digital Spain Agenda 2025, among whose fundamental premises is that of achieving adequate digital connectivity for the entire population, favouring the disappearance of the digital gap between rural and urban areas. For this, some 15,000 million euros will be allocated to a series of strategic axes, such as cybersecurity, the digitization of SMEs, the creation of technology-based ecosystems, the transfer of innovation, 5G or training in digital skills, while the use of the Internet, e-commerce or digital administration services is encouraged at the citizen level. Of these, this year's PGE include a total of 3,750 million euros, the vast majority (97%) coming from European funds.
According to the 2021 PGE, they will be allocated to the axes of the Digital Spain 2025 Agenda:
- 1,097 million euros to promote digital skills
- 583 million euros for the extension of digital connectivity to the entire population
- 418 million euros for the digitization of the national productive framework
- 370 million euros for the digitization of the public sector, promoting digitization in areas such as justice, health, employment policies, the network of consulates and territorial administration
- 330 million euros dedicated to the deployment of disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and the data economy
- 315 million euros for projects that drive digital transformation in strategic sectors, such as healthcare, tourism, the agri-food sector, mobility or commerce
- 300 million euros for the deployment of 5G
- 213 million euros for the development of cybersecurity
- 109 million euros to develop the Spain Audiovisual Hub plan
- More than 15 million euros for digital rights, destined to update the legal protections in force in a context of greater digitization
A high economic amount aimed at promoting the digital transformation of the country in a transversal and global way.
How can we help you from Izertis?
At Izertis, we have extensive experience in technological projects, as well as in the preparation, planning and processing of projects and state aid. Our multidisciplinary technology and strategic consulting teams can support organizations in the development of their technology plans so that they have a place within the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan to attract NextGenerationEU funds. These consulting tasks are based on the verification and support of the alignment of the project objective with the pillars and transversal axes defined in the recovery plan.
With these values we intend to generate a layer of trust and credibility in the projects that are designed in view of the adjudicating authorities, as well as the future EU controls.
For more information do not hesitate to contact us.