The European Commission has today endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s payment request for €709 million in grants (net of pre-financing) under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.
On 25 October 2022, Slovakia submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 14 milestones and two targets set out in the Council Implementing Decision for the second instalment. These cover reforms and investments in the circular economy, in the education and healthcare systems, in the governance of Research & Innovation (R&I) activities, in schemes to attract skilled workers, as well as in the digital economy, public procurement and the fight against corruption. This second payment request also covers investments aimed at the protection of nature and biodiversity and at improving digital skills.
Along with their request, the Slovak authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the satisfactory fulfilment of the 14 milestones and two targets. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
The Slovak recovery and resilience plan includes a wide range of investment and reform measures organised in 18 thematic components. The plan will be supported by €6 billion in grants, of which €823 million was disbursed to Slovakia in pre-financing on 13 October 2021. Another €399 million was disbursed to Slovakia on 29 July 2022, following the positive assessment of the first payment request.
Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Member States implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “I come again with good news for Slovakia! Our assessment has shown that Slovakia has made sufficient progress in the implementation of its national recovery plan to receive a second payment under NextGenerationEU. As always, Member States will have to agree first. Then, Slovakia will receive €709 million in grants. Since the adoption of its plan in July 2021, Slovakia has kicked off transformative changes in key policy areas such as education, healthcare, research and innovation, as well as public procurement and the fight against corruption. So dobrá práca, Slovensko! We are proud of the steps you’ve taken so far and will continue to support your recovery.”
The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets related to this payment request to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC’s opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission’s assessment. Following the EFC’s opinion, the Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the disbursement to Slovakia can take place.
The Commission will assess further payment requests by Slovakia based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.
The amounts disbursed to the Member States are published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard, which shows progress of the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans.
Another step forward for Slovakia as it fulfils the next milestones and targets set out in its recovery and resilience plan – congratulations. With this second payment request, Slovakia is continuing to press ahead with its agenda of reforms and investments: recycling construction waste to boost the circular economy, protecting biodiversity, as well as improving digital skills and promoting more use of digital technologies. Slovakia is investing in its education and healthcare systems and working to attract skilled workers. It also aims to simplify procurement and to fight money laundering. Once the Commission’s assessment is reviewed and approved by Member States, Slovakia should receive €709 million in grants to help make its economy more inclusive, competitive and resilient for the future.
Today’s positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s second payment request marks a further important step in the roll-out of the country’s ambitious recovery and resilience plan. Our assessment found that Slovakia has successfully implemented the 14 milestones and two targets linked to this request. These include measures to strengthen healthcare and education, support research and innovation, boost digital competitiveness and fight corruption. Once the relevant procedures are finalised, we will be able to make a payment of EUR €709 million to Sloavakia. In these uncertain times, delivering on the country’s reform and investment agenda is crucial to support Slovakia’s recovery and strengthen its economic resilience.
I come again with good news for Slovakia! Our assessment has shown that Slovakia has made sufficient progress in the implementation of its national recovery plan to receive a second payment under NextGenerationEU. As always, Member States will have to agree first. Then, Slovakia will receive €709 million in grants. Since the adoption of its plan in July 2021, Slovakia has kicked off transformative changes in key policy areas such as education, healthcare, research and innovation, as well as public procurement and the fight against corruption. So dobrá práca, Slovensko! We are proud of the steps you’ve taken so far and will continue to support your recovery.