NextGenerationEU: European Commission Endorses Malta's €316.4 Million Recovery and Resilience plan

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The European Commission has adopted a positive assessment of Malta's recovery and resilience plan. This is an important step towards the EU disbursing €316.4 million in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). This financing will support the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Malta's recovery and resilience plan. It will enable Malta to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across the EU. The Maltese plan forms part of an unprecedented coordinated EU response to the COVID-19 crisis, to address common European challenges by embracing the green and digital transitions, to strengthen economic and social resilience and the cohesion of the Single Market.

The Commission assessed Malta's plan based on the criteria set out in the RRF Regulation. The Commission's analysis considered, in particular, whether the investments and reforms contained in Malta's plan support the green and digital transitions; contribute to effectively addressing challenges identified in the European Semester; and strengthen its growth potential, job creation and economic and social resilience.

Securing Malta's green and digital transition  

The Commission's assessment finds that Malta's plan devotes 54% of its total allocation to measures that support climate objectives. This includes investments to finance sustainable transport initiatives, including a ferry landing site and electric vehicles, as well as energy efficiency interventions in buildings. The plan also includes reforms that aim to improve transport planning, broaden the free access to public transport, and implement the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan of the Valletta region. Reforms of waste management systems aim to strengthen the circular economy in Malta.

The Commission finds that Malta's plan devotes 26% of its total allocation to measures that support the digital transition. This includes efforts to further digitalise the public administration and public services, including the healthcare and judicial systems, as well as to strengthen initiatives related to digitalisation for the private sector.

Reinforcing Malta's economic and social resilience

The Commission considers that Malta's plan includes an extensive set of mutually reinforcing reforms and investments that contribute to effectively addressing all or a significant subset of the economic and social challenges outlined in the country-specific recommendations addressed to Malta.

The plan includes measures in the areas of healthcare, social protection, education and skills, innovation, energy efficiency, waste, sustainable transportjudicial independence, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering. It also includes measures that partly address challenges in the areas of aggressive tax planning, innovation and pension adequacy and sustainability.

The plan represents a comprehensive and adequately balanced response to Malta's economic and social situation, thereby contributing appropriately to all six pillars of the RRF Regulation.

Supporting flagship investment and reform projects

Malta's plan proposes projects in five European flagship areas. These are specific investment projects, which address issues that are common to all Member States in areas that create jobs and growth and are needed for the green and digital transition. For instance, Malta has proposed to provide €60 million to renovate private and public buildings, including hospitals and schools, to improve their energy performance. This will result in Malta reducing its primary energy demand, limiting energy waste, lowering carbon emissions, while also ensuring positive social, health and environmental implications.

The assessment also finds that none of the measures included in the plan significantly harm the environment, in line with the requirements laid out in the RRF Regulation.

The control systems put in place by Malta are considered adequate to protect the financial interests of the Union. The plan provides sufficient details on how national authorities will prevent, detect and correct instances of conflict of interest, corruption and fraud relating to the use of funds.

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