A coalition of Dutch organizations and agencies has called on the outgoing cabinet to involve them in drawing up a national plan for an application to the large European recovery fund.
The call was not only supported by municipalities (VNG), provinces (IPO) and water boards (UVW), but also by BouwendNederland, VNO-NCW and MKB. Almost 6 billion euros in subsidies are available for the Netherlands from Europe.
Countries can lay claim to European money if they implement structural reforms and investments. In this way, European economies must be more resilient to economic shocks and their growth capacity is strengthened. The Netherlands is the only EU country that has not yet submitted a plan for the European subsidy from the recovery fund 'Recovery & Resilience Facility' (RRF).
The goal of the advocates is to work towards a smart, clean and strong (regional) economy. It is about investing in innovation, infrastructure and the labor market. The Fit-for-55 climate package from Brussels shows that adaptation of the Dutch climate plans is necessary. This requires measures and investments in many sectors.
In order to be eligible for the subsidies, the Netherlands must draw up a plan. That plan must be submitted to Brussels for approval. This process has been delayed as the cabinet formation continues. The Netherlands must submit the plan by April 2022 at the latest.
A condition is also that at least 37 percent of the available money is spent on climate policy and 20 percent on the digital transition. In the Dutch case, this means that 2.2 billion and 1.2 billion euros respectively will be made available for projects related to climate or digitization.
The coalition of authorities and umbrella organizations asks to be actively involved in the plans. She also offers to work together to make the plans a reality.
Water boards could, for example, use the RRF resources to invest in improving and future-proofing sewage treatment plants, improving water quality and making the urban (waste) water system more sustainable and climate-proof.