The European Commission has disbursed €271 million to Finland in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country’s financial allocation under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The pre-financing payment will help kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Finland’s recovery and resilience plan.
The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the implementation of the investments and reforms outlined in Finland’s recovery and resilience plan. The country is set to receive €2.1 billion in total, fully consisting of grants, over the lifetime of its plan.
Since June 2021, the Commission has raised €71 billion for NextGenerationEU via long-term EU Bonds – €12 billion of which through the first-ever NextGenerationEU green bond issuance. On 14 December, the Commission published its funding plan for the first semester of 2022. The plan foresees the issuance of €50 billion of long-term EU Bonds between January and June 2022, to be complemented by short-term EU-Bills. In addition, the Commission currently has around €20.5 billion in EU-Bills outstanding.
The RRF is at the heart of NextGenerationEU which will provide €800 billion (in current prices) to support investments and reforms across Member States. Finland’s plan is part of the unprecedented EU response to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, fostering the green and digital transitions and strengthening resilience and cohesion in our societies.
The RRF in Finland finances investments and reforms that are expected to have a deeply transformative effect on Finland’s economy and society. Here are some of these projects:
- Securing the green transition: Finland’s plan supports the green transition through investments of €319 million in decarbonisation of the energy sector, namely in energy transmission and distribution and in new energy technologies. €156 million will be invested in low-carbon hydrogen along the hydrogen value chain as well as in carbon capture, storage and recovery. The objective of the investments is to contribute to Finland’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 by stimulating the introduction of new clean technologies for energy production and use.
- Supporting the digital transition: The plan supports the digital transition with investments and reforms amounting to €50 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure across Finland. It increases the quality and availability of communication connections in areas where such connections are not provided based on market mechanisms alone. Digital innovations for social welfare and health care servicesare supported with €100 million.
- Reinforcing economic and social resilience: The plan reinforces economic and social resilience by allocating €90 millionto the reform of the Public Employment Services to increase the employment rate. The plan invests €260 million in streamlining healthcare service processes and providing faster and more equal access to social and health services as well as to promote prevention and early identification of health issues.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “This first disbursement under NextGenerationEU is great news for Finland and the Finnish people. This is European solidarity at its best, part of the €2.1 billion Finland will receive for its digital transition and helping the country to further prosper and grow while respecting the boundaries of our planet. Therefore the EU supports Finland’s investments in clean energy and decarbonising industry. We will stand by Finland in the years ahead to ensure that the plan delivers on its full potential.”
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for Budget and Administration, said: “Our NextGenerationEU funds raised on the financial market continue to support the digital and green transition in EU Member States, as just now with the disbursement of the pre-financement to Finland. I am sure that the Finnish citizens, businesses and the society as a whole will profit from the transformative investments and projects.”
Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said: “Today Finland receives €271 million in pre-financing for its recovery and resilience plan. The Finnish plan is strongly focused on the green transition, with no less than 50% of its total allocation set to support climate objectives. This will help to speed the country towards its ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2035. The plan also contains an array of measures to boost Finland’s already strong digital competitiveness. I particularly welcome the Finnish plan’s strong social elements, with measures to raise the employment rate, tackle youth unemployment and facilitate access to social and healthcare services.”