The Technical Support Instrument will assist EU countries to prepare their recovery and resilience plans, required to access funding from the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
The text agreed on Tuesday by negotiators from Budgets and Economic and Monetary committees with the Council provides that the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) will support economic recovery after and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, by promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion as well as digital and green transitions including biodiversity and implementation of climate targets. The reforms supported by the instrument should effectively address the challenges identified in the adopted country-specific recommendations.
Specific objectives and actions
The TSI will assist national authorities in preparing, amending, implementing and revising their national plans. The text sets out a list of key actions to be carried out, such as digitalisation of administrative structures and public services, in particular healthcare, education or the judiciary, creating re-skilling policies for the labour market and building resilient care systems and coordinated response capabilities.
TSI budget and implementation
The overall budget of the TSI will be EUR 864 400 000 in current prices. In order to receive technical support, a member state should submit a request to the Commission by 31 October of a calendar year, identifying the policy areas they will focus on.
To ensure timely availability of resources and immediate response in case of urgency or unforeseen events, up to 30% of the yearly allocation should be reserved for special measures.
For the purposes of democratic accountability and visibility, Parliament obtained to receive annual implementation reports from the Commission as the Council. A single online public repository will provide information on the actions under TSI.
Othmar Karas (EPP, AT), one of the lead MEPs, said “The political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the new Technical Support Instrument is an important element to fill the recovery fund #NextGenerationEU with life. The EU programme will support Member States to implement urgent reforms and encourage investments for a stronger recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. I am particularly pleased with the improved focus on effectively addressing the country-specific recommendations within the European Semester of economic policy coordination. Parliament also successfully strengthened the TSI’s objectives, its scope, transparency and democratic accountability.”
Dragoș PÎSLARU (Renew, RO), one of key negotiators, said: “The Technical Support Instrument comes at the right timing. It will assist Member States in preparing their reform and investment plans for a full recovery after the pandemic. Together with my colleagues, we have an enhanced instrument, that already builds on a successful programme, but with more transparency and accountability at Union level. Most importantly, the instrument is as of now available also to assist private investment projects.”
Alexandra GEESE (Greens/EFA, DE), one of the lead negotiators, said: Thanks to a strong position of the European Parliament today we have a TSI that is substantially greener, more gender-equal and ensures stronger transparency. Knowledge about climate mainstreaming and tracking as well as gender budgeting will help member states to make their economies and societies future-proof. Strong transparency mechanisms will help to showcase the positive contribution of the European Union and foster pro-European attitudes.”
The agreement will now have to be approved first by the two committees, followed by a plenary vote. The Council also has to approve the deal.