Belgium's recovery and resilience plan: turning intentions into concrete investments | Agoria

Belgium's recovery and resilience plan: turning intentions into concrete investments

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Published on 25/06/21 by Laurent Hellebaut
The European Commission adopted a positive assessment of Belgium's recovery and resilience plan yesterday. Agoria welcomes this new step in the procedure that will see Belgium receive €5.9 billion to invest mainly in digital and green transition projects. We are counting on a quick approval of the plan by the Council to give the go ahead for the pre-financing of around €700 million, i.e. 13% of the total amount of the Belgian plan.

The main challenge for Agoria now is to see the plan rendered effectively operational by the federal and federated authorities: to turn intentions into concrete investments.

Agoria has followed the development of the plan closely and has analysed the various projects. Agoria is satisfied that 51% and 25% of the budget respectively are allocated to the green and digital transitions, well above the European requirements (>37% and >20%). Although our needs in this area are considerable, Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan will indeed contribute to the green and digital transitions.

The main challenge for Agoria now is to see the plan rendered effectively operational by the federal and federated authorities: to turn intentions into concrete investments. In this respect, we have three specific recommendations to make:

  1. It is essential to move forward quickly and not to fall behind. The sooner the projects are implemented and therefore financed, the sooner they will contribute to the economic recovery and to the green to digital transitions and will in turn enable other investments.

  2. The Belgian technology industry develops and provides the technological solutions needed for the transitions. It is important that our companies, and particularly our SMEs, can take advantage of the opportunities of the plan and benefit from the investments to be made. In compliance with European obligations Agoria is mobilizing to maximize the return on investment for our companies, in particular for SMEs (info session, reduced payment deadlines, etc.).

  3. Belgium's recovery and resilience plan should be seen in a broader context of the investments that will be needed to make the green and digital transitions a success. We therefore suggest monitoring the plan against clearly defined societal objectives. While the 2030-2050 climate targets are already largely defined or in the process of being defined, Agoria insists that Belgium should also set digital transformation targets based on the 'Digital Decade of Europe' strategy (which covers the areas of skills, digital transformation of businesses, safe and sustainable digital infrastructure and the digitalization of public services). This monitoring should ensure the coherence of the projects and identify additional needs.

Finally, Agoria also keeps track of the progress  of the recovery and resilience plans introduced by the other Member States. With  the same objectives and based largely on similar priorities, these plans represent significant opportunities for companies in the Belgian technology industry.

For more information about the Recovery Plan, click here
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