Commission endorses Sweden's €3.45 billion modified recovery and resilience plan, including a REPowerEU chapter
Today, the Commission has positively assessed Sweden's modified recovery and resilience plan, which includes a REPowerEU chapter. The EU contribution to the plan is now worth €3.45 billion in grants and covers 16 reforms and 14 investments.
Sweden's REPowerEU chapter includes one reform, as well as a scale-up of two existing investments, to deliver on the REPowerEU Plan's objectives to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The new reform aims at speeding up the authorisation process for the construction of electricity grids. The two scaled up investments aim at improving energy efficiency in multi-dwelling buildings, rental dwellings and student housing.
In addition, Sweden has also removed one milestone and one target from the original plan relating to an investment to strengthen railway support. Sweden has indicated that these elements will instead be implemented through national funds with a slightly extended timeline beyond the lifetime of the Facility. These changes to the original plan are based on the need to factor in the downward revision of its maximum Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) grant allocation, from €3.29 billion to €3.18 billion. This downward revision is a result of the June 2022 update to the RRF grants allocation key and reflects Sweden's comparatively better economic outcome in 2020 and 2021 than initially foreseen.
Sweden's REPowerEU grants allocation is €198.4 million. Together with Sweden's RRF grant allocation (€3.18 billion) and the part of its share of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve worth €66 million that Sweden has requested to transfer to the plan, the EU contribution to the modified plan is worth €3.45 billion.
A boost to Sweden's green transition
The modified plan keeps a strong focus on the green transition, allocating 43.6% of the available funds to measures that support climate objectives, which is well above the objective of 37 %.
The reform and two investments included in the REPowerEU chapter strongly contribute to the green transition. The new reform aims at speeding up the authorisation process for the construction of electricity grids and thus contributes to the electrification of the Swedish economy. Two investments in multi-dwelling buildings, rental dwellings and student housing will be scaled up. They will not only promote energy efficiency but also contribute to addressing persistent housing needs.
The plan maintains support for greening the Swedish economy, by providing financing for local and regional activities to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and by promoting innovative technologies for fossil-free solutions in energy-intensive industries, through the established Climate Leap and Industry leaps.
Reinforcing Sweden's digital preparedness and social resilience
Sweden's digital ambition, with regards to the plan, remains largely unchanged, though the addition of the REPowerEU measures has nominally pushed up the overall proportion of digital measures. The plan now allocates 21.2% (up from 20.5% in the original plan) of its total allocation to support the digital transition.
The plan's social dimension remains ambitious, with the health and social reforms remaining unchanged. The plan includes investments to increase the accessibility, capacity and resilience of the health and long-term care system. The plan also includes investments to tackle education and skills gaps, placing a strong emphasis on digital skills, with the aim of alleviating shortages and improving employment opportunities for the unemployed people.
The Council will now have, as a rule, four weeks to endorse the Commission's assessment.
The Council's endorsement would allow Sweden to present its first payment request under the RRF.
The Commission will authorise further disbursements based on the satisfactory fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in Sweden's recovery and resilience plan, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.
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