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EU lawmakers pass massive COVID recovery fund

February 10, 2021

The package could help the European Union recover from the pandemic by boosting environmental schemes and digital transformation. The stimulus was endorsed by an overwhelming majority of EU lawmakers.

Ursula von der Leyen at the European Parliament in Brussels
The multi-billion euro recovery fund was approved with 582 votes in favor, 40 against, and 69 abstentionsImage: Johanna Geron/AP/picture alliance

EU lawmakers approved a €672.5 billion ($815 billion) recovery fund on Wednesday to help member states bounce back quicker from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The regulation for the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) was adopted by the European Parliament with 582 votes in favor, 40 against and 69 abstentions.

Made up of loans and grants, the RRF is the pillar of the stimulus fund that lawmakers approved in 2020.

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Money available for three years

The funds "will be available to finance national measures designed to alleviate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic," according to a statement. "Related projects that began on or after 1 February 2020 can be financed by the RRF, too. The funding will be available for three years and EU governments can request up to 13% prefinancing for their recovery and resilience plans."

Eighteen EU countries have already submitted draft recovery and resilience plans to the European Commission. The EU's executive branch is currently in the process of evaluating those proposals.

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jsi/dj (AP, Reuters)