The shadow of Plan E is long: on the risks of managing European funds

As is understood, the governance, administration and execution of European funds represent a formidable problem for Spain. We’re speaking about an enormous amount of cash of which Spain accounts for round 140,000 million euros, roughly 3% of GDP. The problem stems not solely from quantity but additionally the quick time period of climate (they must be executed earlier than 2026), in addition to the state of affairs wherein the Spanish Public Administration finds itself after a decade of decapitalization within the type of retirements, cuts, lack of substitute of employees, lack of certified profiles, inadequate sources, lack of enough incentives, and many others., and many others. This lack of capability of the Spanish Administrations has already induced execution issues prior to now, in order that in the course of the 2014-2020 interval the execution of the funds amounted to 39% of the dedication.

To cope with this example, the Authorities selected to approve the Royal decree regulation 36/2020, of December 30, approving pressing measures for the modernization of the Public Administration and for the execution of the Restoration, Transformation and Resilience Plan. The acknowledged objective was to deal with what it thought-about “bottlenecks” within the administration of European funds and, subsequently, streamline and “debureaucratize” the administration. The issue is that most likely by the way in which they’ve thrown the kid with the tub water, because the now well-known opinion 783/2020 of the Council of State on mentioned rule reveals, which the Govt had not needed to disclose. To such an extent that, as soon as its content material was recognized, the Vox parliamentary group has acknowledged that, had it learn it earlier than, it could have voted towards the validation of the Royal Decree-law that, we keep in mind, went forward due to its abstention.

Certainly, the opinion of the Council of State highlights the suppression or discount of a sequence of ensures and controls that had been established with the exact objective of avoiding mismanagement. It’s a matter, most often, of creating extra versatile or eliminating authorizations or necessary stories (that had been established to forestall mismanagement, waste, patronage or corruption) or shorten deadlines, principally going to emergency procedures. Specifically, procedures and deadlines in public procurement and grant procedures are simplified and shortened. The issue, after all, is that we’re speaking about preventive management mechanisms that, though they decelerate administration, serve to scale back these dangers that, let’s not overlook, have materialized too many occasions, as proven by the quite a few corruption issues round public procurement linked or to not irregular get together funding political as has occurred within the GÜRTEL or within the case of the ERES of Andalusia, the place the cash got here from the European Social Fund.

Nor ought to or not it’s forgotten that the disappearance of those preventive management mechanisms and of those ensures just isn’t accompanied by their substitute by some system of inside, technical and impartial counterweights, worthy of the title. Fairly the other: the governance of European funds may be very problematic. Within the first place, as a result of it’s extremely centralized on condition that the very best governance physique (the Fee for Restoration, Transformation and Resilience) principally coincides with the Council of Ministers, and the Technical Committee that’s created to help it’s appointed by this Fee. Coordination with the Autonomous Communities is established by way of the Plan’s Sectorial Convention, wherein issues have already appeared arising from the reservation of the decisive vote for the Ministry of Finance. In brief, it’s a overly political and centralized governance mannequin, regardless of the existence of a Sector Convention extra targeted on implementation points than on design and governance. And, above all, the lack participation in any respect ranges of impartial and skilled our bodies.

In brief, to place it within the phrases of the Council of State, though it’s essential to make the administration of European funds extra versatile as a result of context of most urgency, it’s crucial on the similar time to ensure “the upkeep of a rigorous management concerning the allocation” of funds. sources and “their hyperlink to the needs for which they’re granted.” Plainly the federal government It’s clearer that you must spend quick than you must spend properlyn. It’s regular for some alarms to sound. And it’s that the shadow of Plan E is elongated.

A earlier model of this textual content was printed in Global Chronicle.

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