Special feature on Next Generation EU: legal road map

From the government of Spain

National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan
  • Approved in a decision by the Council of Ministers on April 27, 2021, the National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PNRTR) is the key element for ensuring the arrival of NextGen funds in Spain. This National Plan outlines the strategy to address modernization of the Spanish economy, recovery of economic growth and job creation following the COVID-19 crisis, as well as to make the country ready to confront future challenges.
  • Focusing on the first implementation stage (2021-2023), the Recovery Plan describes the investment of around €70,000 million for this period, giving a considerable share to the areas of the green transition (39.12%) and digital (29%) transformation, and showing a clear intention to support education and training (10.5%), R&D&I (7%) and strengthening social inclusion and cohesion throughout Spain, visibly in alignment with the sustainable development objectives of the UN’s 2030 Agenda and with the specific recommendations that the EU institutions made to Spain.
  • In the General State Budget for 2021, the government has already included an item linked to the advent of NextGen funds amounting to around €26,634 million. Although it is not yet completely clear how the funds will be distributed throughout the country, the 2021 General Budget Law states that, out of that figure, €10,793 will be transferred to the autonomous communities (3,723 million have been allocated to environmental policy measures by the Green Transition Ministry and €1,650 million will be used in relation to housing policies). On top of this sum, Spain is set to receive a further €8,000 million from the REACT-EU programme, only in 2021.
  • The National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan is structured around the following 4 broad axes or objectives that are catalysts for all the reforms and investments proposed in the Plan:

    These axes in turn are propelled by 10 policy levers, with a high capacity to drive economic activity and employment:

    1. Urban and rural agenda; combating the demographic emptying of villages; and development of agriculture.
    2. Resilient ecosystems and infrastructure.
    3. Just and inclusive energy transition.
    4. A government for the 21st century.
    5. Modernization and digitalization of the industrial base of small and medium-sized companies, recovery of tourism and a strategy to make Spain a country of entrepreneurs.
    6. Pact for science and innovation and strengthening the capacities of the National Health System.
    7. Education and knowledge, ongoing training and skills development.
    8. New economy of care and employment policies.
    9. Support for the culture and sport industries.
    10. Modernization of the fiscal system for inclusive and sustainable growth.
  • These policy levers themselves also have 30 components around which a whole series of investments and reforms are described for modernizing the country. All for the triple aim of supporting recovery in the short term following the health crisis, setting a transformation process in motion in the medium term, and in the long term, achieving more sustainable and resilient development from an economic and financial, social, territorial and environmental standpoint.<
Royal Decree-law 36/2020
  • To bring about various urgent measures needed for a modernization of government precisely to enable more effective and efficient management of public funds from EU sources, on December 30, 2020 Royal Decree-Law 36/2020, was approved, notably containing measures directed at shortening the length of public procurement procedures and procedures for granting subsidies and at the new impetus given to public private partnerships in this area, through the introduction of strategic economic transformation and recovery projects or “PERTEs” as they are called after their acronym, which have yet to be implemented in practice when their regulations are enacted.
  • This royal decree also defines the structures that will be used to govern the National Plan. Although the central government will have a major role (through the inter-ministerial commission for controlling and coordinating the plan and through the creation of a specific general secretary within the Finance Ministry to act as a point of contract with the commission, by assuming functions for internal coordination and overseeing achievement of the milestones and objectives set in the Plan), a sectoral conference on the National Recovery and Resilience Plan has also been set up, with the participation of all the autonomous community governments and representatives of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, as a forum for agreeing on ways and mechanisms for coordination with the other public authorities involved.
Central government register of entities interested in PERTE strategic economic transformation and recovery projects
  • The PERTE strategic economic transformation and recovery projects described above are conceived as structures with a high capacity to drive economic growth and employment in Spain. Every PERTE project has to be approved by the Council of Ministers after being submitted by the competent Ministry by reason of its subject-matter. The National Recovery and Resilience Plan charts that, in addition to projects relating to the value chain of electric vehicles, a further six projects could be supported, relating to the green and connected mobility industry; green hydrogen power generation, the aerospace industry, sustainable and efficient agriculture, the use of Spanish in artificial intelligence and the development of an innovative national health system.
  • Any companies interested in participating in a PERTE project will need to be entered on a central government register, which has yet to be created, although it is known that it will be kept jointly by the Ministry of finance and the respective Ministry proposing the project.
Expressions of Interest
  • The various Ministries have been calling for submissions of Expressions of Interest in what are being treated as priority areas, ranging from connectivity to the green transition, the circular economy, artificial intelligence, sustainable transport, the digitalization of small and medium-sized companies, among others, as a mechanism for collecting information on the initiatives and needs of operators to complete the details of the future financing instruments linked to the Plan.
Call for applications for subsidies and further information
  • The Government has launched a website containing all information regarding calls for applications for subsidies and other news in relation to the Spanish Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. It is available here.