Speaking after the launch in the European Parliament earlier this week, of a €750 billion post-Covid recovery fund, Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan says the commitments to ecological and digital transition spending are welcome.
The Recovery and Resilience Fund is a recovery package made up of grants and cheap loans to Member States.
“This is a fund designed to help the citizens and economies of Member States throughout the European Union to recover after COVID. The essential funding will be distributed, with certain, positive strings attached. Ireland is likely to receive around €850 million.”
37% of the Recovery and Resilience funding will have to be spent on climate action and 20% on digital. The remainder will have to apply to a ‘do no harm’ principle.
“This is good news for the environment, the economy and society, as we look forward to transitioning out of this difficult time,” commented the Ireland South MEP.
In order to draw down the funding, the government will have to submit its “National Recovery and Resilience Plan” to the European Commission for approval. MEP O’Sullivan is calling for key areas to receive funding.
“We have an opportunity now to make bold decisions that are in the best interests of transitioning towards better ways of living and doing business. I would like to see significant funding going into public transport, bog rehabilitation, and retrofitting.
MEP Grace O’Sullivan also says it’s important in a just transition to rethink how we measure progress.
“It’s time to replace our measurement tools and use Wellbeing Indicators to measure the progress of a country. Adopting wellbeing indicators allows us to step away from the traditional measure of GDP, and offers a broader picture of progress by acknowledging areas like healthcare, the quality of the environment, child poverty, mental health, and equality for minority groups or indigenous peoples.”