The European Commission today presented guidelines on the implementation of the principle of non-material harm in the context of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (RRF). Under the RRF, a key part of the NextGenerationEU instrument, € 672.5 billion in loans and grants will be made available to Member States to support reforms and investments.
The aim of these guidelines is to support Member States so that investments and reforms to be financed by the RRF do not cause significant damage to the EU's environmental objectives within the meaning of the Taxonomy Regulation. The Regulation contains key principles and a two-step methodology for assessing the principle of non-material injury in the context of the RRF in order to facilitate the work of Member States in preparing recovery and resilience plans. Respect for the principle of non-material harm is a precondition for the Commission and the Council to accept the plans set out in the RRF Regulation.
Commission staff shall work closely with the authorities of the Member States to ensure a smooth and expeditious process with a view to presenting plans. Facilitating the green transition is a key goal of the RRF. Provisions for non-material harm are a key instrument for this, provided that at least 37% of investment and reform expenditures in each national recovery plan are invested in climate targets. The guidelines were presented after the European Parliament approved the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism earlier this week. President Ursula von der Leyen attended the signing ceremony and press conference with European Parliament President David Sassoli and Prime Minister Antonio Costa on behalf of the rotating EU Council presidency.
President Ursula von der Leyen said: I would like to congratulate the Council and Parliament on the adoption of the regulation. It is truly a historic moment. With vaccines, we are fighting a pandemic and a severe health crisis. Vaccines are our ally and hope. But we must never forget another huge crisis, and that is the economic crisis. NextGenerationEU is our ally and hope. € 750 billion to support our citizens to keep jobs, to support businesses to keep doing business and to help communities maintain their social fabric. No Member State alone could overcome this economic crisis.