European Commission announces COVID Recovery Plan

The European Commission has put forward a proposal for a major recovery plan in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The budget proposal, announced on Wednesday 27 May, sets out a revamped long-term EU budget boosted by 'Next Generation EU', an emergency recovery instrument to help repair the economic and social damage from by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next Generation EU will raise money by temporarily lifting the 'own resources ceiling' to 2% of EU Gross National Income, allowing the Commission to borrow €750 billion. This additional funding will be channelled through EU programmes and repaid over a long time period throughout future EU budgets.

The money raised for Next Generation EU will be invested across three pillars: 'Support to Member States with investments and reforms'; 'Kick-starting the EU economy by incentivising private investments'; and 'Addressing the lessons of the crisis'.

The budget includes key measures and proposals of relevance and interest for sustainable urban mobility, including:

  • new Health Programme, EU4Health, to strengthen health security and prepare for future health crises with a budget of €9.4 billion
  • €2 billion reinforcement of rescEU, the Union's Civil Protection Mechanism, which will be expanded and strengthened to equip the Union to prepare for and respond to future crises
  • €94.4 billion for Horizon Europe, which will be reinforced to fund vital research in health, resilience and the green and digital transitions
  • Rolling out renewable energy projects, especially wind, solar and kick-starting a clean hydrogen economy in Europe
  • Cleaner transport and logistics, including the installation of one million charging points for electric vehicles and a boost for rail travel and clean mobility in our cities and regions
  • Strengthening the Just Transition Fund to support re-skilling, helping businesses create new economic opportunities
  • Investing in more and better connectivity, especially in the rapid deployment of 5G networks

To find out more, please see the European Commission website.