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Next Generation EU

The European Association of Innovation Consultants publishes a statement on the design of the Recovery and Resilience Plans

Horizonte Europa

In its recently published position paper, EAIC members advise on how to improve the Recovery and Resilience Plans, as well as national innovation policies to maximise industrial investment, find the best partners and balance competence gaps between Member States and Regions.

The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) welcomes the EU’s long-term budget and considers that the Next Generation EU (NGEU), the temporary instrument designed to boost the recovery worth 750-billion-euro, is vital, given the current situation.

The cornerstone of NGEU is the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which will provide €672.5 in loans and grants to support reforms and investments across Member States. The RRF’s ambition is to reduce the economic and social impact of COVID-19 and to support EU societies and economies in becoming more resilient and sustainable.

The Recovery and Resilience plans

According to the EAIC, the Recovery and Resilience plans should dedicate a minimum of 37% of total expenditure to ecological transition and a minimum of 20% of expenditure to digital transition. The success of these plans will depend on the careful design of reforms and investments, in line with the European Commission’s objectives, future programmes and the needs of the industry.

Through these recovery plans, Member States will implement the funds and provide Europe with tools to overcome the current crisis. The EAIC claims that effective and efficient collaboration between countries is necessary to obtain the best RRF, taking into account the best practices of each of them.

Three main challenges for the RRF

EAIC members identified the following challenges:

1. Some countries have already set higher percentages of expenditure, dedicated to specific themes, and the European Commission should consider matching this ambition to each country’s capacity.

2. There is an imbalance between the industrial skills of Member States to stimulate the green and digital transition. Some are world-leading industrial players, while others have more pressing needs for improvement.

3. Some issues such as digital challenges cannot be solved only at the national or regional level. There is a need for Europe-wide solutions and standards that are globally competitive. Mobile communications and GSM standards are the past examples of this.

EAIC suggestions

EAIC suggests acting in a more coordinated way between Member States, by ensuring that the allocated funds will be spent accurately and efficiently. The industry needs to be united and aligned and the best practices for the development of Member States’ Recovery and Resilience Plans must be defined. EAIC members operate in all Member States and their clients cover all industries across Europe and they offer to assist the EC and the Member States in this task.

EAIC can point to key projects that address the structural weaknesses of Member States’ economies, and that strengthen resilience, increase productivity, leading to greater competitiveness of Member States and reducing inequalities and divergences in the Union. In addition, EAIC can manage these projects professionally with its industrial clients, if the programmes are compatible.

Read EAIC’s position paper here.