Nicolas Maeterlinck

EU endorses Belgium's Covid recovery plan worth 5.9 billion euros

The European Commission has given to the green light to Belgium's recovery and resilience plan to leave the corona crisis behind. President Ursula von der Leyen officially sealed the deal in a meeting with Belgian PM Alexander De Croo today. 

The recovery plan is wort 5.9 billion euros. It will be divided proportionately between the different governments, in order to allow over a hundred investment and reform projects. The focus will be on digitalisation and making Belgium greener.  

The EU is dividing some 750 billion between its member states. In order to get its fair share of the cash, each country had to come forward with proposals about how it would be spent. Belgium's plans got thumbs up from Europe. "The measures will speed up the transition towards a sustainable society", Von der Leyen said. She was invited to BeCentral, the digital campus at the Brussels Central Station, to highlight the digital aspect. 

The lion's share of the money will be invested in short-term projects in 2021, 2022 and 2023 to guarantee an immediate effect on the economy. The cake has been divided in the following way: 

  • Flanders: 2.25 billion
  • Wallonia: 1.48 billion
  • Federal level: 1.25 billion
  • Francophone language community: 495 million
  • Brussels Region: 395 million
  • German language community: 50 million

Energy hub off the Belgian coast

"The message of this plan for me is: you ain't seen nothing yet", a shining federal PM Alexander De Croo told reporters. "We may not have a lot of natural resources, but we have enormous potential. We boast many resources which matter nowadays: intellectual resources, power for innovation, creativity and ambition." 

One of the federal projects is an energy hub off the coast, to connect present and future wind turbine parks at our coast and also on an international level. Cash will also spent on the digitalisation of public services (especially in the justice and asylum department) and the fight against cyber crime.  

You ain't seen nothing yet

Belgian PM De Croo

Jan Jambon: "We have already started"

The Flemish PM Jan Jambon is delighted that the Flemish plans have been accepted. "But we didn't wait for the European go-ahead. 163 recovery projects of the 180 have been started already." Flanders will further invest in the "Blue Deal", a plan to extend wetlands and to let rain penetrate our soil better - Flanders is facing longer periods of drought and does not have a lot of fresh water reserves. Up to 80 percent of the Blue Deal will be paid with European cash. 

Other Flemish projects include the digitalisation of Flemish public services, a better cycling infrastructure, electric buses and the renovation of social houses and public buildings. 

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