27 July 2022

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Belgium has been working towards its economic return. Support can be found in multiple measures, from EU level to a regional level, investing in reforms for the future. In 2022, the Belgian Recovery- and Resilience Plan is set to develop and be implemented more concretely. FI Group keeps track of its progress and provides you with an overview of all you need to know to catch up during the summer months!  

1.- What is Next Generation EU? 

The European Council established and approved the Next Generation EU (NGEU) at the beginning of 2021, but what is it actually about? With this the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) has been endowed with 750 billion euro, divided into 390 billion euro in non-refundable funds and another 360 billion euro in loans. Belgium will receive 4.5 billion euro over the course of the mechanism. 70% of the planned budget will be payed between 2021-2022. 

2.- How is the Belgian Recovery and Resilience Plan doing? 

Belgium is one of the first countries to have received a pre-financing payment under the Recovery and Resilience Facility. It will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan. Ranging from different topics and catered to the needs of each region. 

FI Group has analysed its contents and the measures included in the National RRP. These are part of a set of broader initiatives by the various governments of the country, ranging from different topics and catering to various needs.  

3.- What about the Digital Transformation? 

Digital solutions that put people first will open new opportunities for businesses, encourage the development of trustworthy technology, foster an open and democratic society, enable a vibrant and sustainable economy, and achieve the Digital Transformation. For this reason, digitalisation is a priority topic within Next Generation EU. Going from cybersecurity and e-governance to 5G and AI-technologies. 

Both on a national and on a regional level, digital measures are being implemented in Belgium. Here it is explained how they differ and take on various modern challenges. 

4.- What about the Green Transition? 

Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to the European Union and to the world. To overcome these challenges, the Green Transition has the ambition to transform the EU-member states into modern, resource-efficient and competitive economies. The aim is to boost the economy through green technology, create sustainable industry and transport, and cut pollution.  

The green measures set out for this transition are divided per region. FI Group has reviewed different actions and ambitions when it comes to durable mobility, decarbonisation, biodiversity, …   

5.- Why plan for Energy and Climate by 2030? 

At the end of 2019, Belgium submitted to the European Commission the final version of the National Energy and Climate Plan for 2021-2030. Besides energy and climate, mobility, science policy, finance, defense, and agriculture, both at the federal and regional levels, are involved. Strengthened by the Green Transition ambitions set by NGEU, environmental aspirations do live in Belgium. Together they focus on the transition to a low-carbon society and offer funding today to achieve that ambition.   

6.- What is the effect of the newly approved Regional Aid? 

The European Commission has approved Belgium’s map for granting regional aid from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2027 within the framework of the revised Regional aid Guidelines (RAG). FI Group keeps you informed of the latest changes and updates.   

The revised RAG enables Belgium to support the least favoured regions in catching up and to reduce disparities in terms of economic well-being, income, and unemployment. They also provide increased possibilities to support regions facing transition or structural challenges. 

7.- Which are the sectors of the future? 

Belgium’s Recovery and Resilience Plan stands on many pillars, strong and considering the regional necessities. As it is, it touches different important sectors within society. FI Group takes the following under the loop and shares the latest know-how: 

Agriculture: Growing grants towards an organic society 

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a common policy for all EU countries. It is managed and funded at European level from the resources of the EU’s budget. It is meant to support farmers and improve agricultural productivity, ensuring a stable supply of affordable food in the European Union.  

Although Belgium is yet to propose its CAP plans (one for Wallonia and one for Flanders), it is developing different measures in 2022 to safeguard rural community development and sustainable agricultural growth toward a more organic positive society. Want to know more about the how?  

The transition towards a circular economy 

The transition to a circular economy is essential in order to deal with climate and environmental risks. For Belgium, it is also a tool for freeing itself from being dependent on third parties, making it more resistant to international price fluctuations and foreign supply.   

Learn more about the importance of circular economy here. The aim is to boost the economy through green technology, create sustainable industry and transport, and cut pollution.    

The fate of the automotive sector 

In 2022, the way we live, and travel is changing. Our mobility system, particularly the automotive sector, must adapt to global realities such as digitalisation and overcome multiple challenges such as climate change and transport safety for its citizens. 

Keeping in mind the reforms born out of NGEU, have a look at the future of this fast-pase sector here and learn more about its development. 

FI Group has 20 years of experience and wants to accompany you on the new NextGenerationEU path. Our experts are at your disposal to analyse how your project fits into NGEU and to take the next steps together with you.  

Yvette Poumpalova 

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