The European Commission has today disbursed €126 million to Estonia in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country's financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Estonia's recovery and resilience plan.
The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Estonia's recovery and resilience plan. The country is set to receive €969.3 million in total, fully consisting of grants, over the lifetime of its plan.
Since June 2021, the Commission has raised €71 billion for NextGenerationEU via long-term EU-Bonds - €12 billion of which through the first ever NextGenerationEU green bond issuance. On 14 December, the Commission published its funding plan for the first semester of 2022. The plan foresees the issuance of €50 billion of long-term EU-Bonds between January and June 2022, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills. In addition, the Commission currently has around €20 billion in EU-Bills outstanding.
Part of NextGenerationEU, the RRF will provide €723.8 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across Member States. The Estonian plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies.
Supporting transformative investments and reform projects
The RRF in Estonia finances investments and reforms that are expected to have a deeply transformative effect on Estonian economy and society. Here are some of these projects:
-Securing the green transition: The Estonian plan invests €92 million into facilitating the uptake of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, and €50 million into piloting hydrogen value chain. €96 million will be invested in sustainable transport, including the construction of the Rail Baltic terminal in Tallinn.The plan also supports green transition in companies, including through a Green Fund (€100 million), which will finance innovative technologies.
-Supporting the digital transition:The plan will invest €93 million into upgrading digital government services drawing on the latest technologies. It will also support 230 SMEs with €58 million in their digital transition, and invest €24 million into deploying very high capacity networks in rural areas.
-Reinforcing economic and social resilience: The Estonian plan has a strong focus on improving access to health care. €280 million will be invested into constructing the Northern Estonia Medical Campus and the plan also addresses health workforce shortages; the plan aims to strengthen social resilience including by investing €10 million to incentivise youth employment and by improving the provision of long-term care.
Members of the College said
President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I am delighted that Estonia will receive its first payment of €126 million under NextGenerationEU. The pre-financing payment will help kick-start the implementation of the crucial measures in Estonia's recovery and resilience plan. These include reforms and investments to promote energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, and to improve the accessibility and resilience of the health system. We will stand with Estonia every step of the way to ensure that its people fully benefit from the plan.”
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “This pre-financing disbursement will help Estonia to start putting the crucial reforms and investments detailed in its recovery and resilience plan into effect. Estonia's strong focus on measures to drive forward the green and digital transitions - and address its economic and social challenges too - will play a significant role in enabling the country to emerge stronger from the pandemic.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration said: “Our NextGenerationEU funds raised on the financial market continue to support the digital and green transition in EU Member States, as just now with the disbursement of the pre-financement to Estonia. I am sure that the Estonian citizens, businesses and the society as a whole will profit from the transformative investments and projects.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy said: “This pre-financing payment marks an important step in the implementation of Estonia's recovery and resilience plan. The reforms and investments set out in the Estonian plan will make a real difference to the lives of citizens and the competitiveness of businesses: decarbonising the energy sector, improving the health system, boosting skills and reducing the gender pay gap. Tallinn will also benefit from a harmonised public transport system and the construction of the Rail Baltica terminal, helping to further boost the capital's attractiveness.”
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