More than half of EU funds are channelled through the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds), which are jointly managed by the European Commission and EU countries. All these funds are used to invest in job creation and in a sustainable and healthy European economy and environment.
ESI Funds are mainly focused on five sectors:
Both the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund were created to enhance economic and social cohesion within the European Union through co-funding of public expenditure policies of Member States aimed at attaining such cohesion.
In addition, in 2020, the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism is created to address the severe economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to transform European economies by making them greener, more digital and resilient.
For such purpose, the temporary recovery programme NEXT GENERATION EU was designed with an unprecedented 750 billion euros in public resources. Its main item is the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, valid for a term of six years, from 2021 to 2026, and a total amount of EUR 672.5 billion (EUR 312.5 billion in transfers and EUR 360 billion in low-interest loans).
In order to access funds from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism, Member States must approve national recovery and resilience plans. In Spain, the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan considers a robust agenda of investments and structural reforms to tackle the crisis through an effective deployment of up to EUR 140 billion in transfers and credits. The Plan is a major national project involving all levels of government: state, regional and local, as well as the private sector. The purpose is to transform our economy to make it greener, more digital, inclusive and cohesive, while increasing its capacity for growth in the medium and long term.
In Spain, coordination of the implementation and management of the Structural Funds and the Recovery Plan is the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, through the General Secretariat for European Funds, which reports to the State Secretariat for Budgets and Expenditure.
The General Secretariat for European Funds is the management body that shall be responsible, under the authority of the Secretary of State for Budgets and Expenditure, for the management, promotion and coordination of the competencies attributed to the Department in relation to the definition of the Spanish position in the negotiations for the approval and revision of the successive Multiannual Financial Frameworks of the European Union, notwithstanding the coordination competencies attributed in its area to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, the design, planning, coordination and monitoring of actions related to European funds and their financing and budgetary relations with the European Union, the Cohesion Policy and regional economic policy, the regional incentives policy, the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, and, in particular, the functions listed below: