The Next Generation EU funds have accelerated awards in 2023. Specifically, more than 2,000 million euros per month have been allocated, representing a total of 7,756 million between calls and tenders, 27% of the total expected to be awarded for this year However, its resolution continues to be slow and, as indicated by the report by the consultancy LLYC (Llorente y Cuenca), only 1,200 million euros, 15%, have been resolved in competitive calls. Most of these projects belong to direct concession calls from the General State Administration (AGE). For its part, there is still no tender resolved in this 2023.
Of the totality of the more than 70,000 million euros of the funds of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan (PRTR), Spain closed 2022 with more than 23,300 million in calls for aid and resolved tenders that finance pro sect 190,00 Moncloa data, to which are added the 1,200 million in the first quarter of this year. Therefore, despite the “cruising speed” to which the Minister of Finance and Public Function, María Jesús Montero, referred in November of last year, the more than four months of the usual period for the resolution of these assignments slow down the process for getting aid to companies.
The debate on the bureaucratic bottleneck of these funds has been going on since the first payment made by the European Commission (EC) in 2022. In fact, the Government tried to reduce it in advance by approving Royal-Decree 36/2022 that sought to modernize the Public Administration in line with the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. However, as indicated by the LLYC balance, there are large calls planned for this first quarter that accumulate delays, such as aid to the Hydrogen IPCEI, to energy storage in ‘stand-alone’ or to the rehabilitation of Historical Heritage. In addition to other relevant calls that remain pending, such as the second of PERTE VEC or the one of Valles del H2, which is not expected to come out until the second half of 2023.
It is true that the AGE has taken the reins of the allocation of the budget for the economic recovery of the member countries of the European Union after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, the administration has been in charge of committing around 70% of the funds during this first quarter of the year and 62% of the total allocated. While the Autonomous Communities have been responsible for managing the remaining 38%.
Thus, the report shows that the Government’s steps closely follow the spending commitment forecasts for this first semester, with 67% of the allocated budget of the almost 11.7 billion that it intended to allocate until March.
Negotiation of the addendum to the PRTR continues
At the end of December, the First Vice President of the Government, Nadia Calviño, presented the draft addendum to the PRTR, which the Executive is currently negotiating with the EC, with the aim of expanding financing by 10,700 million euros in subsidies and in 84,000 million in loans.
According to Moncloa, the money will finance the eleven PERTEs already underway and a new PERTE for industrial decarbonization, which will involve an investment of 3,100 million euros between transfers and loans. This new project, the PERTE Chip and the ERHA will be the ones that will receive the most additional resources due to their “relevance in a key environment with the energy transition and strategic autonomy,” Moncloa said in a note.