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Understanding the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP)

Next Generation EU

All over the world, the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has led to an economic recession of unprecedented intensity in our recent history, with social impacts that have painfully affected entire sectors of the population.

To counter these effects, in 2020 the European Union set up the NextGenerationEU Programme, a coordinated and unparalleled community response to the challenges posed by this health crisis and its economic and social consequences.

But how does this strong European Union response translate in Brussels and Belgium?

What is its scope? And how does this Plan work?

Yasmin Troch and Guillaume Deleuze from Brussels International helped us see things more clearly.


A European response to the health crisis

While it is intended as a response to the economic consequences of the health crisis, this plan of unprecedented scope is also intended to lay the foundations for a fundamental commitment by our societies to the twofold path of ecological and digital transition, and strengthen economic and social resilience and the cohesion of the single market.

“This is indeed a fundamental point of this plan. The objective is clearly to revive the economy but at the same time place this economic revival within the framework of the digital and environmental transition. As a result, nearly 40% of the projects supported have environmental objectives and around 35% are intended to support the digital transition.”

Yasmin Troch and Guillaume Deleuze from Brussels International


The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) is the financial instrument of this NextGenerationEU Programme, which aims to help Member States emerge stronger and more resilient from the current crisis.

The RRF provides Member States with funds (non-repayable financial support and, where appropriate, loans) to support their reform and investment projects.

In return, they each presented a Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) whose objective is to identify (for each country) priority actions that will help mitigate the economic and social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and make the economies and societies of our European regions more sustainable and resilient.



Approved by the European Commission for €5.9 billion, Belgium’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), will support the implementation by 2026 of the critical investment and reform measures that Belgium has proposed to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In particular, Belgium’s Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) will protect the climate through large-scale energy efficiency retrofits and the greening of road transport. It also plans to digitise public administration, strengthen cybersecurity, make public spending more efficient and sustainable, and improve education and training throughout the country.


And in Brussels

The Brussels section is obviously part of the National Plan.

And nearly 20 projects have been selected for our region.

“The fact is that this is a very central dimension of the Brussels section of the Belgian National Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP). Of the 20 projects selected in Brussels, almost 14 are investment projects led by Brussels institutions. Most concern the energy renovation of public buildings and the construction of new infrastructures.

The other six projects selected in Brussels are reform projects, i.e. they aim to change the legislative system to allow new investments in strategic sectors or activities for the region. There are plans to reform the management systems that will apply, for example, to the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles, for which regulatory adjustments are essential.”

Yasmin Troch and Guillaume Deleuze from Brussels International


Focus on Brussels projects

Among the projects selected for support under the Belgian RRP, some are quite remarkable and clearly in line with the strategic vision of the regional government.

“It is obvious. Moreover, from the outset, this plan was structured around five clearly identified strategic areas: climate; sustainability and innovation; digital transformation’ mobility; social and living together; and economy of the future and productivity.

And within this structure, there are those investment projects that will allow the renovation of social housing and public buildings, and others that will support the digitalisation and modernisation of public services.

It should also be noted that mobility plays an important role in this Brussels section of the National Plan, with the renovation and construction of bicycle paths.

Moreover, the Plan also provides for the development of a new MaaS (Mobility as a Service) solution that aims to create a digital platform and an application to enable the growth of polymobility and multimodality in Brussels. The principle is quite brilliant, as this new tool will provide access to all mobility solutions in real time for travelling from one point to another, taking into account the availability of each one and optimising travel times.

And there is also support for the digitalisation of schools, with the installation of more powerful Wi-Fi points, and the provision of equipment (PCs, tablets, etc.).

Lastly, the training sector has not been excluded, with the introduction of mechanisms for identifying the skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs and the development of training systems that will enable the people of Brussels to acquire these new skills.”

Yasmin Troch and Guillaume Deleuze from Brussels International


Projects that meet the region’s needs

Although the European Union is behind the system, its operational guidelines and the choice of projects reflect the positions of the Brussels executive, which is making it part of its development vision.

“Absolutely. When the European Commission set the main strategic orientations of this Plan, it did so by formulating them broadly enough to leave each State (and its components) the possibility of defining operational pillars for choosing its priority projects.

The European Union wants to engage in the environmental and digital transition but still leave each Member State a lot of room for manoeuvre in translating this according to its own needs. So the projects put forward do not only respond to the concerns of the Commission, but also the needs of Brussels.

We can even say that, even if this Recovery Plan had not been put in place, these reforms and investments would have been made, one way or another. But, of course, this almost 395 million euros of aid from the European Union is very valuable.”

Yasmin Troch and Guillaume Deleuze from Brussels International


Basically, in addition to the European Union’s ability to respond to the major challenges of our time, what this National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) for Belgium highlights is the alignment of European priorities with those of our Region. And we can only be happy about that.

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