Luxembourg requests €26m in EU recovery funds

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen (l.), pictured with Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel  Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen (l.), pictured with Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel  Library photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Luxembourg has requested a payment of €25.98m in recovery funds from the European Commission, the EU’s executive said on Tuesday, with the money going towards projects in the areas of skills, digitalisation, climate, health and anti-money laundering.

The grand duchy in August 2021 was among the first countries to receive pre-financing under the NextGenerationEU recovery package, a programme worth more than €725bn to boost member state economies in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

But all further flow of funds is based on the implementation of investments and reforms outlined in the country’s recovery and resilience plan, which all member states had to submit to Brussels.

“The commission will now assess the request and then forward to the Economic and Financial Committee of the council its preliminary assessment of Luxembourg’s compliance with the milestones and targets required for this payment,” the organisation said in a statement. Under EU rules, at least 37% of spending must go to measures in support of climate objectives with another 20% earmarked for digitalisation initiatives.

A total of €93m will go towards 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.

EU members already in April 2021 approved Luxembourg’s spending plans. It was not smooth sailing, however, for others. Under a new conditionality mechanism, Hungary saw €5.8bn unlocked at the end of November after lengthy negotiations over the country’s rule of law violations and other concerns. The country will need to reach a series of milestones before it can request money from Brussels. A sum of €6.3bn remains frozen.