There are about ten countries that have so far more or less explicitly expressed their willingness to make changes to their Pnrr. The opportunity could be offered by RepowerEu, a program launched by the European Commission for energy investments with the aim of a more sustainable EU autonomous from Russia. In Brussels the theme is there and it’s not just Italian.
The rules and changes in the race
The regulation on the Next Generation EU does not exclude ongoing changes to the Pnrr of the member countries. There are three articles to act as a support. Article 21 provides that the Plan of a Member State can be changed or even reset if “objective circumstances” have arisen which make the initiative necessary. It is for the Commission, and subsequently for the Council, to judge whether such circumstances exist or not. In fact, a new negotiation is opening, which has often been discouraged in the corridors of Palazzo Berlaymont due to its delicacy. But, on the other hand, there is an objective fact: the Next Generation was forged well before the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and, above all, the soaring cost of raw materials.
Then there is article 14, according to which the former Recovery and Resilience Facility loans can be disbursed by 31 December 2023. Those who have not yet requested all of them (as happened in Italy) can apply for a supplement . Spain, the first country to receive funding from the EU, has already begun negotiations for a new injection of 96 billion. Finally, there are the countries which, on the basis of article 18, have seen their funds cut after the recalculation of their GDP envisaged by the EU regulation. The countries of the East, above all, but also Germany, which lost about two billion.
Requests from Luxembourg and Portugal
The question, in Brussels, is still under discussion but is destined to emerge forcefully. The only state to have officially submitted an application to amend its plan is Luxembourg. Portugal, on the other hand, has made a request that could also be shared by Italy: postponing the final deadline of 31 December 2026, a factor which for capitals that are late in making investments would make it possible to avoid partially losing funds.
Italy under observation
Italy, being the country with the largest number of billions granted by Brussels, is monitored with particular accuracy not only by Brussels but also by frugal countries, always sensitive to the expenditure of mutual funds.