Open Letter | European Recovery and Resilience Plans and Civil Society

November 17, 2020, 10:57 am

On November 10, 2020, Culture Action Europe jointly submitted an open letter to the German Presidency of the EU, European Parliament Budget and ECON Chairs, and European Commission Task Force on European Recovery Plan regarding concerns with the lack of involvement of civil society organisations in the design and adoption of the European regulatory framework for the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs).

The letter demands the inclusion of civil society organisations during this ambitious plan to allocate resources in order to stimulate economic recovery. To do so, the following conditionalities are strongly suggested to be set in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs):

  • Civil society must be involved and consulted through a regular and structured multi-stakeholder dialogue

  • An effective monitoring system must be put in place to set out key environmental social, economic indicators

  • At least a 25% earmarking for social investment, with a strong focus on the full implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights

  • RRF should contribute at least with 40% of its resources to mainstreaming climate actions and with at least 10% earmarking for biodiversity and environmental sustainability

  • Fossil-fuels based activities and projects must be excluded from receiving money under the NRRPs

  • At the very least 2% of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan should be allocated to culture

  • Incorporate gender mainstreaming and adopt a gender budgeting lens

  • Clarify that civil society organisations are eligible for measures under the employment, economic, digital and greening objectives of the plan in addition to SMEs.

The signatories support the European Parliament in asking to apply the partnership principle, as established in the framework of Cohesion Policy, to the development and implementation of the Recovery and Resiliency Facility. They assert that such consultation must be carried out in accordance with the highest principles of good governance, transparency and democratic inclusiveness. In addition, the letter calls for to uphold the principle of transparency and ensure public scrutiny of the measures adopted, by ensuring information on the final beneficiaries of the projects and investment funded should be published.

The signatories believe that these measures are fundamental to also restore citizens’ confidence in these difficult times, given that public participation has been restricted since the beginning of the pandemic. They will also help support the good targeting and use of the funds, their cost-effectiveness and governance, and support the wise, effective and efficient use of public funds.

The full letter can be read here.