This opinion is based on two legislative proposals whose legal bases foresee a mandatory consultation of the CoR.
These proposals (Recovery and Resilience Facility and Technical Support Instrument) replace the 2018 proposal for the Reform Support Programme (RSP) and the 2019 proposal on the governance framework for the budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness for the euro area (BICC), which are thereby withdrawn.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility represents the bulk of the Commission's proposed recovery plan, with a total of €560 billion to support investment and reforms in the Member States. Of this total, €310 billion are to be disbursed as grants, and €250 billion as loans. The Facility is to be firmly embedded in the European Semester, as the investment and reforms financed should address the challenges identified in the Country-Specific Recommendations.
The Technical Support Instrument would be the successor to the existing Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP, established in 2017) and would allow the EC to continue to provide support to MS to develop and implement reforms and improve administrative capacity. The TSI would also support MS in the preparation and implementation of their recovery and resilience plans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and the two proposals are therefore complementary.
Many of the views and concerns that the CoR had expressed in previous opinions and resolutions in relation to the SRSP, RSP and BICC, and with regards to administrative capacity, still apply to these proposals. Furthermore the scale of the programme is enormously increased, and so is consequently the importance of the European Semester which is to be at the heart of the mechanism, despite its current limitations.
It is therefore essential for the CoR to defend the views and interests of local and regional authorities and to play and active role in shaping these regulations.