Controlling the flood of money that the plan will entail ‘Next Generation EU’ in aid and soft loans for projects that modernize the economy (140,000 million are planned for Spain) Faced with the crisis unleashed by the pandemic, it has generated some controversy. In fact, the Basque Government, which aspires for the Basque Country to attract just over 5,700 million of that sum, has long been demanding a “co-governance” of these resources, which, however, Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet reminds over and over again that they remain in his hand since the community authorities are related in this matter with the States and not with the regional administrations. Today, and in a meeting with seven media organized by the Government Delegation in Euskadi and in which he participated DV, the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs, Raül White, made it clear to Basque companies that his, that of the Ministry led by Reyes Maroto, will be the only window to go to in search of these funds.
“What is not in the BOE does not exist,” said number two of the minister, referring to the calls that her department will draw up from the second half of this year to release more than 5.7 billion euros that are planned, within a myriad of programs and help lines, within the European framework as a support for all those transformative initiatives that Spanish and Basque companies opt for, which, he pointed out, must ‘fight’ in competition with others. Still, Blanco insisted over and over that the Ministry is openly committed to dialogue, both with the companies themselves and with the autonomous communities.
In this sense, the Government delegate in the Basque Country, Denis Itxaso, stressed that in some projects of a character more linked to infrastructures or the development, for example, of certain mobility programs, which are ultimately developed more at street level in towns and cities, they will surely be closed framework agreements between Administrations to finish channeling European funds.
The Secretary General for Industry and SMEs explained the operation and economic dimension of the ‘Next Generation’ and reviewed the part referring to its competences within the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Sánchez Government. Throughout the talk, Blanco placed special emphasis on the fact that the companies that aspire to these extraordinary resources (about 60,000 in grants only in the period 2021-2023) they should go to the Ministry, which will be in charge of validating the initiatives and then sending them to Brussels for their necessary and essential approval.
«The goal is to run to the last euro; This is how they will also value us, “he explained, to underline that the approximately 5,700 million euros foreseen in these European aid for industry and SMEs” will go directly to companies, not to any intermediary “. Under this premise, he encouraged the Basque productive fabric to approach the Ministry (through its website) to find out about the different expressions of interest (a kind of survey on the projects that aspire to community money and then make the calls) that are open. A practice that other ministerial departments also handle.
In fact, Blanco explained, there is currently one open that ends on the 20th. In order for resources to reach SMEs, he said, these expressions of interest require that the projects that are presented are made up of at least five companies (of which 40% must be small), have positive effects in at least two autonomous communities and involve an investment of more than 40 million euros.
But European funds and aid from the Ministry (the usual now reinforced or protected by the ‘Next Generation’), he clarified, “are not only for projects in partnership or of a certain size.” «There are also lines of support for individual SMEs with projects more attached to each territory, “he said, referring to a package of about 60 million euros in three years that he will coordinate Enisa , the National Innovation Company.
Blanco fled from any specific reference to the possibilities of the Basque Country and its companies in this ‘race’ in search of millions of Europeans, and, diplomatically, explained that by virtue of the experience and the long industrial trajectory of the Basque Country it would be logical for the autonomous community It will capture a remarkable part of the ‘Next Generation’. “Everything will depend,” he insisted, “ competitive projects and achievable ”.
Be that as it may, today, the Minister of Economy and Finance of the Basque Government, Pedro Azpiazu, who presented the Urkullu Cabinet Budgets for 2021 at CES, highlighted Europe‘s defense of the role of the regions in the management of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (MRR) of the ‘Next Generation’, by including it in the draft of the regulation that is expected to be approved on February 8.
As he said, the aforementioned draft includes that regional and local authorities should be considered “Important agents” in the implementation of reforms and investments, and that therefore must be “correctly involved, always in accordance with the competency and autonomic design of each member state.”
«This recommendation of the European Commission becomes practically an obligation, the autonomous composition of the Spanish State and the specificities of communities such as the Basque Country require it, ”Azpiazu declared, in a new message demanding the aforementioned co-governance.