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Four more EU Covid recovery plans set to be approved

Image: andrew1998, via Shutterstock

Finance ministers likely to green-light spending for Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia

Four more countries are set to have their plans for spending their share of the EU’s €750 billion Covid-19 recovery fund approved, after finance ministers from the bloc positively evaluated the plans of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia.

Many countries are using their share of the fund to support R&D and education initiatives, among other priorities. For example, Cyprus intends to use €64 million of its €1.2bn share to bolster research and innovation, including by opening up publicly funded infrastructure.

National spending plans must first be signed off by the European Commission and then by the Council of the EU. The Commission has already approved the spending proposals of the four countries, and on 23 July the Council signalled that it would probably do the same after another meeting of finance ministers that day.

Approval would allow the four governments to start paying out up to 13 per cent of their share of the fund. The rest of the payments will be dependent on their progress towards milestones agreed with the Commission in their plans.

The Council has already approved the plans of 12 countries. Bulgaria and the Netherlands have yet to submit their plans, due to changes of government coinciding with the plan development period. Commission approvals of plans from Hungary and Poland are being held up by concerns over the rule of law in the two countries.