Europe has an exit plan from the financial Covid19 crisis and is called the Recovery and Resilience Facility. €672.5 billion will be made available in loans and grants to support reforms and investments undertaken by Member States; out of those €312.5 billion as grants and €360 billion as loans, and part of the money will be destined to businesses operating in EU Member States. The aim is to support the recovery of the European economy and simultaneously to foster the Green Deal and our Digital Transformation. In particular, a minimum of 37% of total expenditure will have to be allocated for climate investments and reforms and the funds have to be used up until 2026. This is a golden opportunity for companies to get access to the funds for investments on cycling (ebikes, bike sharing, infrastructure, etc.) as a sustainable and clean mode of transport to help achieve the Green Deal objectives.
The scope of the Recovery and Resilience Facility is structured around six pillars:
- Green transition
- Digital transformation
- Growth, jobs and cohesion
- Social and territorial cohesion
- Health, economic, social and institutional resilience
- Policies for the next generation
Additionally, the European Commission has set flagships and strongly encourages Member States to include in their investment and reform plans the area of ‘’recharge and refuel’’ which is described as the promotion of future-proof clean technologies to accelerate the use of sustainable, accessible and smart transport, charging and refuelling stations.
So far, there is information that some Member States have already included in their draft proposals the intention to direct funds in sustainable mobility plans, such as Romania €9.7 bn, Italy €7.55 bn, and Portugal €1 bn. Additionally, there are Member States that in their draft proposals intent to address funds specifically to bicycle infrastructure, like Belgium €250 mil, and Slovakia € 100 mil.
Furthermore, Member States like Belgium, Italy, and Latvia have come front with proposals for concrete cycling plans for investments, which foster safe bicycle infrastructure and support multimodality (see table below).
*Source: European Cyclists Federation
How to Access the Grants
First of all, the funds of the Recovery and Resilience Facility will be made available via the national recovery and resilience funds. In principle any company that is active and operates in an EU Member State can potentially have access to the grants, given that they have a project that falls in the previous categories.
Member States have to prepare their recovery and resilience plans and explain their reforms and public investment projects (see table b). The national Ministries responsible for allocating the funds can vary depending on the Member State; it could be Ministry of Finance, Regional Development, etc.
There is a specific timeline and deadlines for Member States and for the European Union.
Member States will have to run a Public Consultation and afterwards present their Recovery and Resilience Plans to the European Commission by April 30th, 2021.
- Start engaging with Member States and get all the information available.
The European Commission will assess the received Member State plans and publish a Council decision by June 30th , 2021.
- Start working on structuring your projects always in line with the European Semester priorities, the Member States National Reform Plan, and along State aid requirements.
The Council will adopt its Implementing Decision by the end of July 2021 and from there on 70% of the grants should be made available to businesses by Member States by December 21st 2022 and the remaining 30% by December 31st, 2023.
- Apply for the grants as soon as possible.
Information on National Recovery and Resilience Plans by Member States:
|Submitted, published, new draft expected||Bulgaria|
|Submitted, not published||Croatia|
|Submitted, published, rejected||Czech Republic|
|Submitted, not published||Denmark|
|Submitted, not published (some info here)||Finland|
|Submitted, published, new draft expected||Italy|
|Submitted, published, rejected||Romania|
|Submitted, not published (general info here), rejected||Slovenia|
|Submitted, not published (general info here)||Sweden|
Next week, ECF is organizing two members-only webinars. Furthermore, CIE, with the support of ECF, is planning to organize a webinar CIE members-only to provide more guidance on the topic.
 European Cyclists Federation
 European Cyclists Federation