Are there any sectors excluded from accessing NGEU funds?
None. Any project that fits within the strategic areas will be considered.
Will the sectors that have experienced the worst effects of the crisis be given priority?
Not necessarily, although logically the sectors that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis — such as industry, tourism, transport or health — will be more likely to submit projects that fit the requirements.
What are the key requirements for a successful investment plan?
It must guarantee two objectives: to bring about structural reforms within the framework of the economic policies of the EU countries, and only refer to specific sectors of the future.
Projects must demonstrate that they have the capacity to address 9 main indicators:
- They must refer to one of the strategic policies established by the Spain Can Plan (Plan España Puede).
- They must contribute to the four key drivers for the transformation of the Spanish economy: ecological transition, digital transformation, social and territorial cohesion, and gender equality.
- They must improve and enhance the competitiveness of the Spanish economy on the international arena.
- They must create stable and quality employment.
- They must foster the creation of participatory public-private ecosystems in which large, small and medium-sized enterprises, public administrations, universities and society play a role.
- They must be viable projects with justified budgets.
- Their goals should be clearly stated, using intermediate objectives, milestones and impacts, with indicators to assess the project's achievement and scope.
- It is imperative that they comply with the deadlines set by the EU.
- And they must be adapted to the specific requirements established for each call.
How are the NGEU Funds organised?
There are 4 transversal components, 10 drivers and 30 areas that are fully aligned with the requirements of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism: Ecological transition, digital transformation, social and territorial cohesion, and gender equality. And they are implemented through 212 measures, 110 of which are investments and 102 reforms for the period 2021-2023.
Can companies fully finance their projects with NGEU funds?
For the time being, it has been stated that funds awarded through public tenders can be used for 100% public or public-private (Concessions) financing, while funds that go directly to companies will always be financed on a public-private basis. The funds are expected to cover 20-40% of the total investment in the projects.
Is there a minimum size/amount for a project to be eligible?
At this stage, the only limit is the €40mn limit set by the Ministry of Industry for projects submitted for expressions of interest, but no overall limit has been given, nor has it been indicated that this will be the limit required to submit a PERTE. Other expressions of interest have not indicated a minimum amount.
Are projects already under way or only new projects eligible?
The general rule is that European Next Gen funds can be received for projects that have started until Feb 2020 (funds could be given retroactively) but it will depend on the specific funding windows opened by each Ministry and Autonomous Community. Some of them have already said that projects that have already started are not eligible.
Do projects need to be submitted to EOI to receive funding?
The presentation of the expressions of interest will not be a requirement for eligibility. However, the administration has encouraged companies to submit their projects to the EOIs because i) they will obtain information, ii) it will help ensure that companies are ready to submit their projects once the funding windows are opened.
How could the final beneficiaries of the funds be affected by the possible non-compliance with the targets agreed between Spain and the EU?
Any failure by a member state to honour its financial commitments to the EU should not affect the final beneficiaries of the aid once the state has undertaken to disburse it. However, Spain is expected to commit to providing more aid to companies as EU funds are received, so failure to meet Spain's targets could lead to a future reduction in the amount of aid.