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NextGenerationEU: Commission endorses the Netherlands' €4.7 billion recovery

The European Commission has today given a positive assessment of the Netherlands' recovery and resilience plan. This is a key step paving the way for the EU to disburse €4.7 billion in grants to the Netherlands under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). This financing will support the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in the Netherlands' recovery and resilience plan. It will play a crucial role in enabling the Netherlands to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flags of Netherlands ad EU blowing in the wind
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The Commission assessed the Netherlands' plan based on the criteria set out in the RRF Regulation. The Commission's analysis considered, in particular, whether the investments and reforms contained in the Netherlands' plan support the green and digital transitions; contribute to effectively addressing challenges identified in the European Semester; and strengthen its growth potential, job creation and economic and social resilience.

Securing the Netherlands' green and digital transition

The Commission's assessment finds that the Netherlands' plan devotes 48% of its total allocation on measures that support climate objectives. The Dutch plan includes investments that are expected to make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation and energy transition.

The plan includes investments and reforms to speed up the deployment of renewable energy sources, investments in sustainable mobility and nature restoration.

Reinforcing the Netherlands' economic and social resilience

The Commission's assessment considers that the Netherlands' plan effectively addresses a significant subset of the economic and social challenges outlined in the country-specific recommendations issued in the context of the European Semester.

The plan puts forward a package of targeted reforms that aims at tackling shortcomings of the pension system and strengthening the labour market. This includes increasing social protection for the self-employed.

Supporting flagship investment and reform projects

The Netherlands' plan proposes projects in various European flagship areas. These are specific investment projects, which address issues that are common to all Member States in areas that create jobs and growth and are needed for the green and digital transition.

For instance, the Netherlands has proposed to provide support of €690 million for offshore wind energy and €710 million for mitigating the impact of nitrogen emissions through a nature restoration scheme. To support the digital transition, the development of innovative quantum technologies applications will be promoted (€270 million), as well as artificial intelligence solutions (€60 million). The plan also includes investments in human capital and digital skills, by promoting digital innovation in education, preventing learning losses and supporting up-and reskilling activities (€450 million).

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “I am delighted to present the European Commission's positive assessment of the Netherlands' €4.7 billion recovery and resilience plan. This plan will further strengthen the Dutch economy, making it greener, more digital, and more resilient. We have endorsed this plan because it is ambitious, far-sighted and will help build a better future for the Dutch people. It is also a strong contribution to our REPowerEU plan as it includes important projects to become less dependent on Russian fossil fuels. Congratulations!”

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “We are delighted to give a positive assessment to the Netherland's Plan, which will put its economy on a greener and more digital path. Nearly half the plan is devoted to supporting climate goals, by accelerating the deployment of renewable energy sources and investing in offshore wind and energy efficiency in housing, as well as in sustainable mobility and nature restoration. The plan will also support the digital transition by investing in quantum technology and artificial intelligence, digital skills, education and government. We also welcome the plan's social aspects, particularly to strengthen the Dutch labour market, provide more affordable housing and boost the resilience of the country's healthcare system. Once put fully into practice, this plan will help to put the Netherlands on a sound footing for the future.”

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “Good news for the Netherlands. Our positive assessment of the recovery and resilience plan will pave the way for the disbursement of €4.7 billion over the coming years. This funding will support the implementation of an ambitious set of investments and reforms that will provide major benefits to Dutch citizens. With almost 75% of the funds earmarked for measures that support the green and digital transitions, the plan will ensure that the Netherlands emerges stronger from the pandemic. Important reforms to strengthen the labour market and increase housing affordability will also improve social cohesion. Finally, the proposed investments in offshore wind and the new Energy Law will help reduce the Netherlands' reliance on Russian fossil fuels, in line with the priorities set out in REPowerEU. At a time of exceptionally high uncertainty, today's proposal is a vote of confidence in the country's future.”

Source; European Commission Press Service