How did the Commission assess Portugal's second payment request?
On 30 September 2022, Portugal submitted to the Commission a request for the disbursement of €1.8 billion under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The request was based on the achievement of the 20 milestones and targets for the second instalment, as outlined in the Council Implementing Decision approving the plan. They cover reforms in the areas of management of public hospitals and the digital transition in the private and public sectors. Several milestones and targets also concern major investments in the areas of health, social protection, forestry, water management, innovation, sustainable mobility, digital skills, culture, public finances and public administration. In line with the RRF Regulation, the Commission has up to two months to carry out its preliminary assessment of the request.
With their request, the Portuguese authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 20 milestones and targets. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before endorsing the positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.
What are the next steps?
The Commission has now sent the positive preliminary assessment of Portugal's fulfilment of the milestones and targets required for this payment to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC's opinion, to be delivered within maximum four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission's assessment. The Commission will adopt the decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of this decision by the Commission, the disbursement to Portugal would take place. The amounts disbursed to the Member States will be published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard. The Commission has also shared its positive preliminary assessment with the European Parliament.
How do the milestones and targets achieved by Portugal so far effectively support the green transition?
In this payment request, the green transition is supported by specific investments, such as the development of bio-economy technologies, the construction of a Bus Rapid Transit line in Porto to renew and decarbonise the public transport, and the development of sustainable agriculture in the Azores. Climate change adaptation is also a clear focus with fire prevention and forest and water management investments. Steps are also taken with a digital land-registry platform simplifying the cadastral information system entering into production, which is essential for planning, managing and supporting decisions on the territory's occupation and use.
How do the milestones and targets achieved by Portugal so far effectively contribute to the digital transition?
The second payment request includes various measures supporting the digital transition, such as the development of a digital land registry platform, the digitalisation of cultural facilities, the modernisation of tax declarations, programmes aimed at strengthening the digital skills of the employed workforce, and the implementation of a secure mobile communication system for government employees. The second payment request also includes the review of the formative content included in the National Qualifications Catalogue specifically relating to digital skills for use in a professional context, and the reform on the creation of digital signatures and seals, thus paving the way for the integration of digital solutions in Portuguese businesses.
How do the milestones and targets achieved by Portugal so far contribute to improving Portugal's economic and social situation, and its resilience?
Portugal implemented several milestones that are part of important social and economic investments and reforms. With respect to healthcare, the second payment request includes measures to upscale the networks of palliative and integrated continued care, as well as home-based care, and to improve the management of public hospitals. Other measures are improving the social resilience of Portugal such as the strengthening of the network of social facilities, and far-reaching projects to combat poverty and social exclusion in Lisbon and Porto. Finally, the second payment request includes measures related to the national promotional bank, Banco Português de Fomento, which will help to provide capital to viable Portuguese companies.
Does the achievement of the second batch of milestones and targets contribute to an effective implementation of the Plan?
The milestones and targets fulfilled constitute significant steps in the implementation of Portugal's recovery and resilience plan, and of its broader reform agenda as many contain important legislative steps paving the way for reforms and investments planned for the later implementation stages of the plan. These include steps relating to Portugal's national promotional bank, Banco Português de Fomento, which will help to provide capital to viable Portuguese companies. The second payment request also includes a crucial step towards strengthening the quality and sustainability of public finances with a new management contract template that should increase the performance, responsibility and accountability of public managers of state-owned enterprises in the health system coming into force.
For More Information
Press release on the positive preliminary assessment of Portugal's request for €1.8 billion disbursement
Press release on the positive preliminary assessment of Portugal's request for €1.16 billion disbursement
Press release on €2.2 billion in pre-financing to Portugal
Question and Answers on Portugal's recovery and resilience plan
Factsheet on Portugal's recovery and resilience plan
Revised Annex to the Council Implementing Decision
Recovery and Resilience Facility
Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard
Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation
Question and Answers on the Recovery and Resilience Facility
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