Many Doubts. As many as, it is supposed, opportunities to cement the future of Euskadi. That can be the quick summary of the intervention today of the Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment, Arantxa Tapia, and his counterpart from Economy and Finance, Pedro Azpiazu, before different representatives of Basque companies and sectors of activity on the Funds ‘Next Generation EU’. Starting from that initial haze, caused in large part by the lack of clarity that the central Executive still distils about what the distribution of the money will be, Azpiazu and Tapia advocated public-private collaboration as a way to go to guarantee the greatest possible success in the reception and practical application of these resources.
“It is an issue that still has many unknowns, but that may suppose an impulse of modernity and change necessary to get out of this health-economic situation with a guarantee of the future,” said Pedro Azpiazu as soon as he began his speech before representatives of Confebask, Adegi, Cebek, Sea, the Chambers of Commerce, the Basque industrial clusters, the development agencies, ASLE, the Basque Metal Federation, the Mondragon Group, Confekoop, the Association of family businesses and Elkargi.
The appointment served to share with them, with companies (large and small), the information that the Basque Government has to date on the ‘Next Generation’ and that, in light of the above, it is not too much or, at least, not clear enough. Proof of this is that the budgets for 2021 presented the day before before the Basque Parliament already contemplate an item of five million euros for those projects that, said in silver, remain at the gates of programs such as the community one.
«This is beginning to take shape and, precisely because of this, we believe that it is time to intensify a dynamic of collaboration in order to define possible future private projects aspiring to the funds, and also to analyze the role of Basque SMEs in public projects that we have already been working on, “explained Tapia.
Tapia and Azpiazu asked much prudence. And it is that, here and in other latitudes, European funds have raised enormous expectations that, perhaps, cannot be fully met. A more than necessary caution because, the councilors said, «the funds that the Basque Country will be able to attract are not known». Even so, they were born, they both promised to “not give up the effort”.
«We will be active; and we ask to act in a way agile and smart. To work for projects that we are really capable of tackling, regardless of the money coming from Europe “, said Tapia. “Our resources are limited, but we have mechanisms and programs in which we will try to study how to support those projects that, being collaborative, being of general interest, are truly transformative and achievable,” he added.
In the same vein, Azpiazu insisted to the audience that «we have to do this road together and that public-private collaboration and public-private engagement is the only guarantee of success».
The Minister of Economy and Finance recalled that “the cornerstone of this fund is the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism (MRR), whose objective is to undertake reforms and investments that promote the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the Union, increasing resilience, he growth potential and the adaptive capacity of the Member States, mitigating the social and economic impact of the crisis, and supporting the ecological transition, to achieve the EU objective of climate neutrality, and also the digital transition, thus contributing to economic convergence and social and job creation ”.
«Euskadi approaches like this your own Euskadi Next Plan 2021-2026 to materialize European funds, about which there is much talk, but in which there is a lack of clarity to move forward, “sources from both departments assured. According to the calendars that are transferred from the Ministries, they added, the set of the Basque company “is on time” to define projects and candidates for strategic and transformative initiatives of private initiative.
Counselor Tapia warned that “this does not mean that the reaction should be to improvise and prepare an overwhelming offer in quantity.” «Success will not be in the number of projects, but in that they are initiatives that conform to the criteria set by the EU and by the Ministries», Highlighted sources from his cabinet.
The Basque Government, added the same sources, sees the ‘Next Generation EU’ as an opportunity to generate an economy throughout the business fabric. And Tapia encouraged to manage the work in country code: «I encourage you to work as collaborating entities and accomplices of the business fabric of Euskadi. That you help your associated companies to ‘read’ and interpret realistically and responsibly what these programs entail ”.
For Azpiazu, Europe has clearly assessed the areas of action, “and although we have been assured that the autonomous communities will participate in the management of the MRR funds in various ways, they have not yet materialized.” What we do know is that it’s not about discovering america, but rather to identify with realism and pragmatism, our connection axes with the strategy that Europe has previously set, and try to absorb the greatest amount of resources by being successful in our selection and planning, “he concluded.