Minister Donohoe welcomes Commission’s positive assessment of revised National Recovery and Resilience Plan & endorsement of Ireland’s first payment request of €324 million

21st May, 2024

 Minister for Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Tuesday) welcomed the EU Commission’s positive assessment of Ireland’s modified National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) with the result that Ireland is to receive €324m under the Recovery and Resilience Facility.  The Commission has also approved Ireland’s €240m REPowerEU Programme.

The modified plan is now worth €1.15 billion (in grants) and covers a combination of both investment and reform projects. The Commission has simultaneously endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Ireland’s first payment request for €324 million under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

Minister Donohoe said: 

I am very pleased that we have progressed implementation of our National Recovery and Resilience Plan to this stage.  This follows extensive engagement between Departments across Government and the EU Commission. The RRF is the main pillar of the European recovery plan, NextGenerationEU, designed to provide financial aid to Member States to combat the economic and social effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and make the European economy more resistant to future shocks.  It is a concrete symbol of European solidarity.   I welcome the Commission’s positive assessment of Ireland’s first payment request for €324m.  REPowerEU is the EU’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and I am delighted that the Commission has endorsed Ireland’s €240m REPowerEU programme which will make a valuable contribution to our Green transition.”

The overall objective of Ireland’s NRRP is to contribute to a sustainable, equitable, green and digital recovery effort, in a manner that complements and supports the Government’s broader recovery efforts.  The drawdown of payments under this performance-based Facility is contingent on the timely delivery of the milestones and targets by each accountable Department and on providing the supporting evidence to this effect.  This first payment request relates to 40 milestones and targets and amounts to €324m.

Ireland’s REPowerEU chapter consists of five investments and one reform and amounts to €240m. It is consistent with REPowerEU’s objectives to make Europe independent of Russian fossil fuels and accelerate the Green transition.

Some amendments have been made to the NRRP based on objective circumstances such as the identification of better alternatives and the stronger than anticipated post-pandemic recovery of the labour market.

The payment of €324 million accounts for 28% of funds, with 34% of the milestones and targets fulfilled when the REPowerEU allocation is included.

The Council now has four weeks to consider and endorse the Commission’s assessment.

 

ENDS

 

Note for Editors

  • The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) entered into force on 19 February 2021. It finances reforms and investments in EU Member States made from the start of the pandemic in February 2020 until 31 December 2026. Countries can receive financing up to a previously agreed maximum amount.
  • To benefit from support under the Facility, EU governments have submitted national recovery and resilience plans (NRRPs), outlining the reforms and investments they will implement by end-2026, with clear milestones and targets. Member State Plans were required to allocate at least 37% of their budget to green measures and 20% to digital measures.
  • The RRF is performance-based. This means that the Commission only pays out the amounts to each Member State when they have achieved and verified the agreed milestones and targets towards completing the reforms and investments included in their plan.
  • Ireland’s overall RRF allocation is €914m payment is contingent upon both the achievement of agreed milestones and targets and supporting evidence to verify that achievement within each payment instalment. 
  • The overall objective of Ireland’s NRRP is to contribute to a sustainable, equitable, green and digital recovery effort, in a manner that complements and supports the Government’s broader recovery efforts.
  • The RRF allocation will be paid to Ireland in instalments.  This payment request covers a total of 40 milestones and targets and amounts to €324m. 
  • These milestones and targets include investments in jobs and skills through the work placement experience programme, the commencement of retrofit works under the Public Sector Buildings’ Energy Retrofit Programme, the signature of the contract for the building of the Government data centre, the connection of schools to the broadband network and work to enable the future electrification of public transport in Cork.
  • This payment request also includes a series of reforms including reform on climate action, addressing the digital divide through a new digital strategy for schools and providing disadvantaged students with ICT equipment, reducing regulatory barriers to entrepreneurship by introducing an ‘SME test’ in new legislation, and also a suite of reforms in areas such as pensions, housing and health.
  • REPowerEU is the EU’s plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels, boost the independence and security of the Union’s energy supply and accelerate the green transition. REPowerEU will be financed via the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).  
  • The Irish REPowerEU programme has been developed to draw down our €240m allocation (€90m REPowerEU allocation plus and additional €150m transferred from Brexit Adjustment Reserve Fund (BAR)).  Ireland’s REPowerEU programme, agreed by Government in February, consists of five investments and one reform.  
Project Name Department / Project Lead
Investments  
Upscaling a Biomethane Industry in Ireland  Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine
Drogheda Charging Infrastructure Department of Transport
HSE Pilot Energy & Decarbonisation Pathfinder Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications 
Expanded School Sector Pathfinder decarbonisation and retrofit Programme  Department of Education 
Restoration and Refurbishment of 6 Ely Place Office of Public Works
Reform  
Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS) Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications

 

  • Ireland’s modified NRRP, including the REPowerEU chapter, is now worth €1.15 billion (in grants) and covers a combination of both investment and reform projects.
  • RRF projects are pre-funded through the estimates processes and the National Development Plan with RRF allocated funding being recouped from the EU after the milestones and targets have been achieved and verified. 

 

More information can be found the Government and European Commission websites at:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/d4939-national-recovery-and-resilience-plan-2021/ and

https://commission.europa.eu/business-economy-euro/economic-recovery/recovery-and-resilience-facility/irelands-recovery-and-resilience-plan_en