German development plan

After weeks of blockade, aid funds are to flow: the Federal Republic will receive 24 billion euros from the Corona Fund of the European Union. An internal plan shows what happens to it.

Around 22 percent of the funds from the EU Corona Fund are to flow into climate-friendly mobility.

Dhe federal government wants to use 80 percent of the funds to which Germany is entitled from the new European Corona development fund for climate protection and digitization. This emerges from an internal draft for the “German Development and Resilience Plan”. In it, the government lists the projects into which the grants should flow. The 46-page draft is available to the FAZ.

At 40 percent, the proportion of expenditure planned for “digital change” is twice as high as required by the EU. At 40 percent, spending on climate protection is just above the European target of 37 percent.

According to the paper, the federal government now expects grants totaling 23.6 billion euros, calculated in 2018 prices; Throughout Europe, the reconstruction fund provides 312.5 billion euros in non-repayable grants. The amount expected for Germany is almost a billion euros higher than according to the previous forecast; evidently the underlying outlook for the German economy has deteriorated accordingly since the summer. Of the total amount for Germany, 15.2 billion euros can be allocated in 2021 and 2022, the remaining 8.4 billion euros in 2023. However, this part can still change depending on the economic development.

Agreement after weeks of blockade

The heads of state and government only cleared the way for the EUR 1.8 trillion corona package at their summit at the end of last week. Poland and Hungary had blocked the agreement for weeks because they rejected the proposed link with the rule of law.

Preparations for the allocation of the funds from the development package, which alone amounts to 750 billion euros, have already been pushed ahead in many Member States independently of this in the past few weeks. The first money should flow in after the final ratification of the reconstruction package by the national parliaments from June onwards. The national “development and resilience plans” must be available to the Commission by April. The present draft is intended to prepare for this: “It is the basis for an intensive dialogue with the Commission,” it says.

The German government decided early on that most of the expected EU funds would be used for projects in its German economic and future package, which was decided in June, as the FAZ reported in September. In the draft that is now available it says: “The measures anchored in the German Development and Resilience Plan systematically reflect the national efforts of the economic stimulus package, in which Germany is a pioneer in Europe in terms of time and dimensions.” Completely new projects of larger dimensions have therefore not yet been planned .

Specifically, around 22 percent should flow into climate-friendly mobility, 11 percent into innovative energy systems such as the promotion of hydrogen technology, and 9 percent into climate-friendly construction. 10 percent each are earmarked for the digital infrastructure and the digitization of the economy, 5 percent for digital education and 14 percent for the digitization of administration. The remaining fifth of the total amount is to flow mainly into the health sector and pandemic protection, and to a lesser extent into the labor market.