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Twelve governments can start paying out EU recovery funds

Council decision unlocks up to 13 per cent of €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Facility

EU finance ministers have signed off 12 countries’ plans for their share of the EU’s €750 billion Covid-19 recovery fund, allowing their governments to begin signing some grant and loan agreements for the money.

A total of €672.5bn of the fund has been ringfenced for national use, with many governments including research, innovation and education initiatives among their plans for their share.

Under the rules of the fund, the European Commission and then EU finance ministers must approve each national spending plan, after checking for compliance with criteria including allocations to environmental and digital investments.

On 13 July, ministers approved the plans of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.

All 12 can now begin paying out up to 13 per cent of their share of the €672.5bn. The rest of the funding will be unlocked if governments hit the reform and investment milestones they agreed with the Commission.

Countries’ shares of the fund vary depending on the impact of the pandemic on their economies.