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MNI: EU Asks Italy To Speed Up National Recovery Plan Overhaul


The European Commission is asking Italy to speed up work to overhaul the National Recovery Plan which determines how EUR200 billion in EU funds are spent, to ensure there is time to properly examine and approve the changes, two Italian sources who were close to the European officials visiting Rome on Monday told MNI.

The European officials were making a routine visit to monitor Italy’s increasingly difficult progress towards targets which must be met to qualify for disbursements under its NextGenerationEU programme. They told the government that its proposed modifications to the Recovery Plan used as a basis for NextGenEU implementation should be submitted well before the Aug 31 deadline, to allow time for dialogue and possible further changes before approval, the sources said.

Italy is expected to reduce the number of projects to which it commits under the Plan, in a bid to spend as much of the money as possible by the programme’s 2026 deadline. Some projects currently included in the Plan could qualify for EU cohesion funds if they overrun the deadline, Italian officials hope, though one source said European Affairs Minister Raffaelle Fitto also wants to see whether any NextGenEU funds which still remain unused could be transferred to a European Sovereignty Fund for the green economic transition being promoted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Fitto has already asked Brussels to extend the 2026 deadline, but was rebuffed.


The mission also discussed the EUR19 billion third tranche of the plan, which Italy requested in December but has been delayed as Brussels sought clarification on progress against targets, the sources told MNI.(See MNI: EU Nears Paying Italy Delayed EUR19Bln – Officials)

While some of the projects originally earmarked for completion in return for the disbursement, including work on a stadium in Florence, have been discarded, Italy should soon receive full payment for the third tranche, with funds allocated elsewhere, one of the sources said.

Fitto has already admitted in public that Italy is struggling to meet the June 30 deadline needed to unlock a fourth payment under the plan, with at least three investment targets out of reach.

The European officials expressed interest in progress towards targets, while Rome explained its challenges as it prepares an overhaul of the Recovery Plan that will see calendar changes for some projects, one of the sources told MNI.

“Some of the projects which we can’t manage may not be included in the overhaul,” said one of the sources, adding that Italy just had “cross its fingers” and hope with regards to the June deadline.

According to website OpenPNRR, which monitors implementation of the recovery plan, Italy is still far from completing all targets and milestones for the June 30 deadline.

MNI Rome Bureau | +34-672-478-840 |
MNI Rome Bureau | +34-672-478-840 |

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