European Commission backs Finland’s Covid recovery plan

European Commission backs Finland’s Covid recovery plan

Helsinki, Oct 5 (IANS) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has backed Finland’s recovery and resilience plan, which comes as part of the European Union’s (EU) multi-billion pandemic recovery fund.

Von der Leyen said the Commission applauded Finland’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2035, noting that the country has devoted 50 per cent of its plan to Green Transition, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

It will also devote 27 per cent of its plan to supporting digital transition, helping it remain a leader in this field.

At a press conference at the VTT Technical research centre outside Helsinki, both Von der Leyen and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin underlined the importance of the EU recovery plans for the future.

Marin noted that the plan is about rebuilding economies from the bottom up, adding: “It is much more than just a stimulus package.”

The Council of the European Union will decide on whether to approve Finland’s plan in about four weeks’ time.

If it gets the green light, Finland will receive 13 per cent of the EU funding reserved for the plan as an advance payment.

All EU countries are required to present a national recovery and resilience plan if they are to receive funding from the stimulus package, which consists of 806.9 billion euros under the NextGenerationEU Recovery Fund, combined with the bloc’s long-term budget.

Finland submitted its plan in May, and should receive its first tranche of funding, 272 million euros, at the end of the year — as long as the member states give their backing.

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