The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) was set up in 2021 to help the EU recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The Facility provides direct financial support to Member States to carry out reforms and make investments. The implementation of the RRF is now fully underway and EUR 144 billion has already been paid out to Member States.
The European Commission is carrying out a mid-term evaluation to assess if and to what extent the objectives of the RRF have been achieved, how efficiently resources have been used, and what has been the EU added value. It has opened a public consultation to gather views on how the RRF is working, which will feed into this evaluation.
Each year, EuroHealthNet analyses the European Semester (EU process of social and economic policy coordination) and the RRF, and how they are being used to improve health equity. Based on this expertise, EuroHealthNet participated in this public consultation. Our main points are:
- Budget allocation focuses heavily in investments in assets and infrastructures, but does not cover current expenditures. Barriers to covering personnel and operational costs keep countries from using RRF funding.
- The coordination between RRF investments and other EU investment programs and strategies needs to be improved.
- Imbalances in the distribution of funds need to be addressed. For instance, funding that was dedicated to health tends to addressed biomedical and curative interventions, failing to address health inequalities.
- The RRF should have specific requirements and obligatory allocation of funds to address inequalities.
- The administrative burden around the use of RRF funds should be reduced.