Two days after an agreement paving the way for a new support program for Greece, the European Commission revealed plans on Wednesday to help the country maximise its use of EU funds. As mandated by the Euro Summit on 12/13 July, this will help mobilise more than 35 billion euros up to 2020 to support the Greek economy, provided that the conditions agreed upon by the Euro Summit will be met.
“Following Monday’s Euro Summit agreement, the European Commission is willing to step this up even further to help Greece unleash a significant economic rebound and to give the proposed reforms the best chance to work: these 35 billion euros can help make Greece an attractive location for investment and give hope to especially the younger generation”, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, said.
“After at times painstaking months of negotiations, we now need to look to the future. This new start for jobs and growth is the Commission’s contribution.”
EC proposes “exceptional” measure for Greece
As an “exceptional” measure and in light of the unique situation of Greece, the European Commission is proposing to improve immediate liquidity in the country, so that investments can still be funded in the 2007-2013 programming period.
According to an announcement, the Commission is proposing the early release of the last 5% of remaining EU payments normally retained until the closure of the programs and applying a 100% co-financing rate for the 2007-2013 period.
This would translate into immediate additional liquidity of some €500 million and a saving for the Greek budget of around €2 billion.
The Commission will also propose to increase the rate of initial pre-financing for programs for 2014-2020 in Greece by 7 percentage points.
The “exceptional” measure for Greece proposed by the European Commission, will also need the approval of the European Parliament and the European Council.
“I trust the European Parliament and Member States will play their part so we can unlock the money swiftly”, President Juncker said.
Today’s Communication follows the setting up of a High-Level Group under the leadership of Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue. Together with the Greek authorities, this Group aims to ensure that all the money available from the 2007-2013 programming period is used before it expires at the end of the year, and to help Greece meet the requirements to access all EU Funds available to it in 2014-2020.