POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - INSTITUTIONS

NextGenerationEU

EU pandemic recovery funds arrive in Luxembourg



Finance minister Pierre Gramegna, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and prime minister Xavier Bettel (l.t.r.) holding a copy of Luxembourg’s NextGenerationEU plan at the SES headquarters in Betzdorf during a visit in June SIP / Luc Deflorenne

Finance minister Pierre Gramegna, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and prime minister Xavier Bettel (l.t.r.) holding a copy of Luxembourg’s NextGenerationEU plan at the SES headquarters in Betzdorf during a visit in June SIP / Luc Deflorenne

Luxembourg on Tuesday received the first payment of a €93m EU rescue package after its plans on how to spend the money received the green light from Brussels in June.

The finance ministry said that Luxembourg had received €12.1m on 3 August, the equivalent of 13% of the funds allocated to the grand duchy under the NextGenerationEU scheme.

“Luxembourg was among the first countries to present its recovery and resilience plan in April and to receive the green light from the European Commission shortly thereafter,” said finance minister Pierre Gramegna (DP) in a statement. “It is in this same spirit that I am happy that Luxembourg is also among the first to receive a first tranche of funding, which marks a historic moment in the implementation of the NextGenerationEU plan.”

Member countries had to submit plans to the commission to be eligible to receive money from the EU’s €750bn pandemic recovery programme. At least 37% of spending must go to measures in support of climate objectives with another 20% earmarked for digitalisation initiatives.

Luxembourg will be financing measures in three areas: social cohesion and resilience, the green transition and digitalisation. Among the projects funded are affordable and sustainable housing, electric vehicle charging points and ultra-secure satellite communications infrastructure that aims to boost EU data sovereignty.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during a visit in June formally approved of the plan. “It is one of the, if not the most environmentally friendly plan in Europe,” she said at the time. “This is exactly what Europe needs.”

Luxembourg will spend 61% of the funds on climate and 32% on digitalisation.