Brussels (Belgium) Jan 19: The European Union (EU) plans to start raising and allocating in the next few months the main part of the 750-billion-euro (906-billion-U.S.-dollar) recovery fund, designed to bail out the bloc's economies hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said Monday.
He told reporters following a Eurogroup ministerial meeting that the roll-out of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the bulk of the massive fund, would be key to address the imbalances and inequalities that were deepened by the public health crisis.
Gentiloni said national plans will be received from the second half of February and it will take the European Commission two months to assess and approve them, plus another month for the European Council to adopt the final implementing decision on each plan.
While it is a tight timetable, "it is doable," said Gentiloni. He also said that all plans, to be submitted by the EU member states, should present the right balance between investments and reforms.