The Governing Council of the Junta de Andalucía approved yesterday the creation of a management body to attract extraordinary European funds for covid-19, called Next Generation UE, which will involve the arrival in Spain of 140,000 million euros, of which 72,700 will be grants non-refundable and another 67.3 billion, loans.The Government of Spain announced last week the outlines of your National Recovery and Resilience Plan, called Spain Forward, whose draft can be taken to Brussels from tomorrow, October 15, although the final plan must be presented between January and April. In this document, the projects to be financed and the arguments to prove their impact on the reactivation of the economy should be included. From that moment on, the European Comission You will have two months to evaluate it and propose its approval.
A plan without reforms, but that will serve to resist politically
Isidore TapiaIn the Spanish plan, the word ‘reforms’ has been dropped, being replaced by ‘transformation’. It is no coincidence, because the Government has presented an investment plan, not a reform plan
Given this calendar, the autonomous communities have just two and a half months, until December 31, to present those initiatives that may be eligible. The Chairman of the Board, Juanma Moreno, has insisted that the distribution criteria between Spanish regions must be the same as those used among the 27 EU countries: population, GDP and unemployment rate, which in his opinion would make some 20.00 billion euros would correspond to Andalusia, one of the most populated regions (8.5 million people), with the lowest GDP (below 75% of the European average) and with the highest unemployment rate (unemployment will reach 30% this year, according to various organizations).
💬 @JuanMarin_Cs: We set up a management body for the new European Next Generation funds, which are the 772,000 million euro funds that the European Union makes available to member countries for the recovery of the # COVID-19. ✅Within thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/DMKY5F6J6J
– Junta de Andalucía (@AndaluciaJunta) October 13, 2020
However, European funds will not be distributed to regional governments so that they deliver them to their free will, but the autonomous communities will have to present public or private projects to the central Executive before the end of the year. Thus, the battle for these funds will be key in the coming months between the different Spanish autonomous communities, which must present the projects with which they want to access these grants. For this reason, there are several regions that have articulated various mechanisms with which to fight that battle.
Yesterday it was the turn of the Junta de Andalucía, with a coalition government where the debate about who manages these aid had been closed in false last month. So, an agreement between the partners, PP Y Citizens, led to approve a remodeling of the Executive in which the popular gained all the weight to the detriment of the oranges.
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He Finance Minister, Juan Bravo, became of the Treasury and European Funds, assuming powers that in the first year and a half of operation have been in the hands of the Minister of Economy, Rogelio Velasco, who had boasted in recent months of having unblocked countless European aid that the management of the previous socialist government had stops and with the possibility of getting lost.
Specifically, the EU had granted Andalusia 8,554 million euros in various European programs for the 2014-20 framework. However, when the new government team arrived at the Board, they found that they had to spend more than 6,000 million euros that they were in limbo. Velasco managed to extend the term until 2023 and in 2019 certified projects with the EU for a value of 1,003 million euros, compared to 378 million on average since the start of the current financing framework (2014-2020).
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For this reason, the transfer of powers from the Economy to the Treasury had created discomfort in that counseling and even in part of Ciudadanos en Andalucía, where there is a critical current to the vice president of the Board and orange leader in the region, Juan Marin. His detractors considered that he had left the PP all the leading role in the main political and economic battle that is coming.
Indeed, yesterday was his own Marin which announced at a press conference after the Governing Council the creation of a new managing body to present Andalusian projects that should be in line with the growth of the economy and job creation through initiatives that accelerate ecological transitions and digital.
This body will be chaired by himself and will be accompanied by five other councilors, so there will be three representatives of the PP and another three of Citizens. Specifically, on the part of the PP will be the counselor of the Presidency, Public Administration and Interior, Elijah Bendodo (as vice president of this body); that of the Treasury and European Funds, Juan Bravo, and that of Development, Marifrán Carazo; while on the part of the party of Inés Arrimadas will be Juan Marin; the Minister of Economic Transformation, Rogelio Velasco, and Employment, White Dew.
Digitization and ecological transition projects will account for 70% of EU funds
The main mission of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan will be to create “more than 800,000 jobs”. In three years, 72,000 million euros will be distributed
The working groups of the different departments are already preparing the proposals that will reach this management body, where those that will be transferred to the Governing Council for approval will be evaluated and decided.
According to the report presented yesterday to the Executive, to which El Confidencial has had access, the projects should aim to accelerate the ecological and digital transition of Andalusia. For it, “They must be strategic, of great depth (minimum 10 million euros), with tractive capacity and that entail the generation of wealth and employment, the promotion of sustainability and digitization, and a structural change in seven defined strategic areas: activation, renewal, recharging and refueling, connection, modernization, expansion, and professional recycling “.
This group will prioritize thinking about “regional projects” that respond to structural needs, “although the Administration of the Junta de Andalucía not be competent “. That is, the Board can request, for example, funds for the railway connection of the port of Algeciras (depending on the Ministry of development) if you consider it a priority for the community.
This action, which will be carried out through the Andalusia Agency for Innovation and Development (IDEA), is part of the legislative reform undertaken by the European Comission which allows Member States to use European funding, notably the Feder Program, to provide liquidity to SMEs and defray health expenditure on the occasion of the covid-19 health crisis.
This line of 50 million is aimed at companies with more than nine workers and less than 250, which present in the first semester of 2020, as a consequence of the covid-19 crisis, a drop in their turnover of more than 25% compared to the same period of 2019. The resources are aimed at covering their working capital needs to face the payment of supplies, suppliers, rents or payroll and recover its level of activity.
The call, which will be opened under the non-competitive competition, will be published before the end of October and will be resolved before December 31 of this year. The aid of up to 300,000 euros will be paid with the resolution, following the guidelines set by Brussels, and to be recipients of this fund, the firms will be obliged to maintain the activity at least one year after the payment of the subsidy. Applications to this line can be submitted through the virtual office of IDEA Agency from its publication in BOJA.
Initiatives to support the productive fabric
This measure is in addition to the initiatives already taken by the regional Executive to face the effects of this health crisis, among which the line of guarantees endowed with more than 50 million euros so that Andalusian companies can access bank financing of 600 million euros and other 51 million to subsidize financial expenses that these operations can cause them.
To this is added the increase of nine million euros to reach 22 of the line of Digital Transformation aids to facilitate the telecommuting in companies, or the moratorium applied both to the repayment of the loans that Andalusian companies maintain with the Junta de Andalucía and to the rents of business spaces in the science and technology parks dependent on the Ministry of Economic Transformation.
Also, the IDEA Agency adopted administrative actions such as an extension of the term of up to 18 months to justify the granting of aid through the Incentive Program aimed at Business Development, Improving Competitiveness, Digital Transformation and Job Creation.
Reactivation of IDEA
This new measure has been possible within the framework of the restructuring and reactivation of the IDEA Agency, whose main objective is to turn this instrument into an example of transparency and efficiency in the management of public funds, including those of European origin.
The first results of this reactivation are reflected in the run level current incentive programs managed by this entity. Within the framework of the Industrial Development Program, the volume of approved projects, incentives granted and private investment has tripled compared to the previous stage, so that up to now, 91 million have been approved for 1,347 business projects, which commit a private investment of 245 million and contribute to the maintenance and creation of 16,000 jobs.
In addition, IDEA complies with the commitment of a calendar of calls for aid to business R&D for 2020 with a budget of 84 million euros. Through the Program dedicated to Industrial Research, Experimental Development and Business Innovation, incentives worth 16.64 million have already been given the green light for 96 projects, which foresee a private investment of 70 million euros. In addition, the Agency has launched three venture capital funds that seek to promote startups and promote business expansion with an endowment of 45.5 million.