Government missed deadline to tap into EU COVID recovery funds, says Peter Agius

The EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility could see Malta receiving up to €316 million in recovery funds, but government seems to have missed a deadline to receive a first round of funds

Nationalist Party MEP candidate Peter Agius warned that government has missed a deadline that would allow Malta’s National Recovery and Resilience plan to tap into €316 million in EU funds.

In February this year, the European Council adopted a regulation that established a €627.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

However, in order to receive support from this facility, EU countries were asked to set out a package of projects, reforms and investments covering several policy areas.

EU countries were asked to submit this plan by 30 April, but according to Peter Agius, Malta has missed this deadline.

"How can we have a true recovery plan bringing solace to hard hit sectors of the economy when the plan is kept under wraps in government buildings?” Agius questioned.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of European Commission, emphasised in a statement last March that these plans will need to include a summary of consultations with relevant stakeholders, with Member States having to explain how their plans reflect stakeholder contributions.

In this regard, Agius warned that Malta’s recovery plan risks becoming a bureaucratic government exercise rather than responding to the needs of society.

“Compared to the 20 Million assistance national assistance just launched by the Government, the EU’s 316 million in recovery funds can have a deeper and more wholesome impact on sectors of our economy including tourism, producer industries and small businesses who have had to forego any business as a result of the lockdowns."