Additional 20 billion euros for achieving REPowerEU objectives – Region, 07 October 2022

The European Council agreed on the REPowerEU proposal, a plan to phase out the EU’s dependency on Russian fossil fuel imports.

The proposal envisages adding a new REPowerEU chapter to EU member states’ national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) under NextGenerationEU, in order to finance key investments and reforms which will help achieve the REPowerEU objectives. The EU Council modified the origin of the funds for REPowerEU as well as the allocation key of the additional 20 billion euros proposed by the European Commission.

Regarding the sources of financing of these additional funds, instead of auctioning from the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) Market Stability Reserve, the Council is opting for a combination of sources: the Innovation Fund (75 %) and front-loading ETS allowances (25 %). The Council’s aim is to not disrupt the functioning of the EU ETS system while ensuring a credible revenue stream.

The Council modified the allocation key by introducing a formula which takes into account cohesion policy, member states’ dependence on fossil fuels and the increase in investment prices.

The Council limited the obligation for member states to submit the REPowerEU chapter only to cases where they wish to request RRP additional funding in the form of RRF loans from NextGenerationEU, non-repayable support from new revenue or newly transferred resources from shared management programs and thus not upwards updates of maximum financial contribution.

Concerning possible derogations from the “do-no-significant-harm” principle for investments in improving the energy infrastructure and facilities to meet immediate security of supply needs for oil and gas, a careful balance was struck which aims to limit the additional administrative burden for member states. The Council is obliging member states to provide a justification to the European Commission when they wish to derogate from the “do-no-significant-harm” principle.

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