EU pays out out first €800m of recovery payments

The European Commission said it has disbursed the first €800 million of payments under NextGenerationEU, the temporary instrument to finance Europe’s recovery after the pandemic.

The payments were made to 41 national and regional programmes in 16 Member States — France, Greece, Czechia, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Estonia Austria, Denmark, Finland, Bulgaria, Sweden, Portugal and Croatia.

The money was disbursed from the from the Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe initiative (REACT-EU).

It follows the successful implementation of the first borrowing operation under NextGenerationEU.

The €20 billion 10-year bond was the largest-ever institutional bond issuance in Europe and the largest amount the EU has raised in a single transaction.

By the end of this year, the Commission intends to raise some €80 billion in long-term funding, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills.

NextGenerationEU is a temporary recovery instrument of €800 billion in current prices to support Europe’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

To finance NextGenerationEU, the European Commission – on behalf of the EU – will raise from the capital markets up to around €800 billion between now and the end of 2026 — €407.5 billion for grants (under RRF, REACT-EU and other EU budget programmes) and €386 billion for loans.

This will translate into borrowing volumes of an average of roughly €150 billion per year.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “I am glad that Cohesion policy remains at the forefront of crisis response and recovery.

“REACT-EU was the first NextGenerationEU Instrument to be finalised, its programmes were the first ones to be adopted and it is now the first channelling support to our economy, businesses and workers.

“REACT-EU brings much needed additional investment firepower to existing Cohesion policy programmes to further stimulate a robust, fair and cohesive recovery.”

Commissioner for Budget and Administration, Johannes Hahn, said: “I am very happy that we succeeded to kick-start the NextGenerationEU issuances as scheduled.

“As of today money under NextGenerationEU is already used via REACT-EU to help our regions and cities recover from the pandemic and build a greener, more digital and more resilient Europe.”