Portugal: MEPs satisfied with recovery fund plans - Plataforma Media

Portugal: MEPs satisfied with recovery fund plans

The chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Budgets, Johan Van Overtveldt, expressed satisfaction on Tuesday with how Portugal was planning to use the Recovery and Resilience Programme funds, stressing the importance of paying attention to education

In statements to Lusa following a visit that a delegation of 12 MEPs is making to Portugal on the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP), Johan Van Overtveldt said that the delegation was “very satisfied with what they have seen and heard.

He added that “with this visit, we can verify that the way Portugal is planning to use the money from the Recovery and Resilience Plan is the most adequate in the way of fighting climate change, expanding digitalisation or improving infrastructures”.

The delegation, which includes 11 MEPs from the Budgets Committee and one from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, is visiting the country between 18 and 20 July.

Stating that he hoped that the Programme could contribute “significantly to the potential growth” of the Portuguese economy, Johan Van Overtveldt pointed to education as an area that should be given more attention in the scope of the RRP.

“The area that should be given more attention is education because the future is brains”, said the MEP, noting that Portugal is not yet in the front group of countries with the highest percentage of GDP allocated to education.

He said “putting more emphasis on education – to basic and advanced education – will be very important for Portugal to be able to keep up with the evolution of technology as it advances in various sectors” so that “improving the basic and more specific skills of the population” will be a way to improve the well-being and quality of people’s lives.

In this context, he pointed out that it might be worth “considering allocating more funds to the educational part of the investments”.

Asked about the timeframe for implementing recovery and resilience plans, Johan Van Overtveldt acknowledged that there could be some flexibility for some countries, considering that the 2023 deadline might not be enough in some cases.

“This is an issue that may vary from country to country, but maybe there could be a little bit more flexibility for some countries (…) to be able to find and choose the best investment projects,” he said, stressing that doing the best with the available funds “is a legitimate concern” and that “2023 might not be enough”.

The RRP commitments must be made until 2023, and the respective expenditure implemented until 2026.

The visit includes meetings with the ministers of the presidency and finance, Mariana Vieira da Silva and Fernando Medina, respectively, with the deputy speaker of the Portuguese parliament, Edite Estrela, and with the mayors of Sintra and Braga, as well as visits to companies in the ‘Green Blue Axis’ project and the Technological Centre for the Textile and Clothing Industries of Portugal.

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