How did the Commission assess Malta's first payment request?
On 19 December 2022, Malta submitted to the Commission a request for the disbursement of €52.3 million (net of pre-financing) under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The request was based on the achievement of the 16 milestones and three targets for the first instalment, as outlined in the Council Implementing Decision approving the plan. They cover reforms and investments in the areas of construction and building renovation, the environment, waste management, mobility and urban planning, research and development, education, the rule of law, anti-corruption, the judiciary, taxation, remote work and digitalisation.
With their request, the Maltese authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 16 milestones and three 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 Malta'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 Malta 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 Malta so far effectively support the green transition?
The green transition is supported by transformative reforms and investments included in Malta's first payment request, such as the adoption of the Construction and Demolition Waste Strategy aiming to identify options for the management of waste arising from construction and demolition activities; the entry into force of the Building and Construction Authority Act aiming to establish a Regulator for Buildings responsible for the regulation, improvement and sustainable management of the building and construction industry in Malta; the completion of an energy performance audit of public school buildings in view of forthcoming energy efficiency investments; and an agreement between the Authority for Transport in Malta and the Local Councils Association for the selection of regeneration areas to promote walking, cycling and public transport, in parallel with educational campaigns to avoid unnecessary travel and create additional free and open public spaces.
How do the milestones and targets achieved by Malta so far effectively contribute to the digital transition?
While milestones and targets related to the digital transition are more concentrated in subsequent payment periods, key reforms and investments in this area are included in the first payment request. Malta adopted a Smart Specialisation Strategy to foster businesses' Research & Investment performance and strengthen public-private cooperation to promote industrial innovation. Malta also put forward reforms to enable the digitalisation of the justice system, by allowing for presence in court through live video conferencing links and by allowing the filing of judicial documents by electronic means. Malta also set up 15 office facilities to enable remote work for civil servants across the Maltese islands, thereby increasing the digitalisation of the public sector while also delivering on the green transition by reducing traffic congestion.
How do the milestones and targets achieved by Malta so far contribute to improving Malta's economic and social situation, and its resilience?
Malta successfully implemented nine milestones and one target aimed at strengthening its institutional resilience. These include reforms concerning the method of appointment and dismissal of the judiciary, the appointment of members of the Permanent Commission Against Corruption, and the reinforcement of the institutional capacity to fight against corruption. Whilst milestones and targets regarding education and training, socio-economic sustainability, and health are more concentrated in subsequent payment periods, an important milestone achieved so far concerns the setting up of two autism units in middle schools. The latter includes new operational equipment and trained personnel to allow for the further integration of pupils with special needs into the mainstream school environment.
Does the achievement of these first milestones and targets contribute to an effective implementation of the Plan?
The milestones and targets fulfilled so far constitute significant steps in the implementation of Malta's recovery and resilience plan and cover all six components of the plan.
For More Information
Press release on the positive preliminary assessment of Malta's request for €52.3 million disbursement
Press release on €41.1 million in pre-financing to Malta
Question and Answers on Malta's recovery and resilience plan
Factsheet on Malta's recovery and resilience plan
Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision
Annex to the Proposal for a 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