National Recovery & Resilience Plans – What is at stake for local and regional authorities?
The last event of the URBAN Intergroup, which took place on May 21st, was dedicated to the National Recovery & Resilience Plans. In his introductory remarks, Jan Olbrycht, President of the URBAN Intergroup, underlined that the idea of this meeting was to discuss what is at stake for local and regional authorities in the preparation and implementation of those plans.
Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General of EUROCITIES, presented an idea of having a structural dialogue with local and regional authorities and the European Commission especially in the monitoring face of the Recovery and Resilience Instrument. This dialogue would allow to check how investments go in line with EU priorities, partnership and subsidiarity principles. Moreover, in the context of mid-term review of NRR Plans, an idea to establish a city driven pan European project with strong added value was mentioned.
Fréderic Vallier, Secretary General of CEMR, welcomed the idea of having a structured dialogue. He pointed out that national recovery will be efficient if local and regional authorities are involved in the design and the implementation of recovery plans. He presented as well the outcome of a join study made with the Committee of the Regions which shows that consultation process was not organised correctly in all Member States and the involvement of local and regional governments was sufficient.
Eleni Marianou, Secretary General of CPMR, called as well to associate representatives of local and regional authorities to the ongoing structural dialogue between the Commission and the European Parliament. She pointed out that the need of complementarity between different instruments and funds willing to boost investment and recovery. The lack of strategic articulation between the investments to be founded via the RRF and cohesion policy funds 21-27 could jeopardize the capacity for regional authorities to best programme cohesion policy and contribute to investment priorities.
The discussion with Celine Gauer, Director General, Head of the Recovery and Resilience Task Force (RECOVER) from the European Commission and Siegfried Muresan, Co-Rapporteur on the Recovery and Resilience Facility from the EP was focused on the efficiency of implementation of the RRF. As mentioned during the discussion, RRF and cohesion policy are different instruments, managed in a different manner (first one in direct management and shared management for the last one). The challenge is to find complementarities, not only between different policies, but also between different models of implementation. Moreover, there is a need to concretely involve local and regional authorities in the implementation phase of the national recovery.
Andreas Schieder, Vice- President of the URBAN Intergroup, reminded in the conclusions of the debate that economic and social impact of the crisis are bigger in the urban areas. He stressed that the involvement of local and regional authorities in the design of the recovery plans was not optimal. He reminded as well the Parliament resolution of 20 May 2021 on the right of information of the Parliament regarding the ongoing assessment of the national recovery and resilience plans (2021/2703(RSP)) which underlined the role of civil society and local and regional authorities in the implementation of the plans.