MEPs on “fact-finding visit” to Spain aimed at “protecting EU recovery funds”

Madrid. Image - Eszter Szadeczky-Kardoss/

MEPs from the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee, led by chair Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), will travel to Spain’s capital Madrid later this month to ‘look into the disbursement of the EU’s recovery and resilience funds’, as reported on Friday, February 17.

MEPs revealed they will be going on a “fact-finding visit” to Spain, which will be aimed at “protecting the EU’s recovery funds.”

During their visit from February 20-22, “MEPs want to be informed first-hand on the implementation of Spain’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, including milestones and targets, and particularly the management, audit and control systems in place,” MEPs said in a statement.

Spain was the first EU country to receive a payment of Next Generation EU funds in 2021.

MEPs are set to meet with several members of the Spanish government, including the First Vice-President and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation Nadia Calviño; Minister of Finance and Public Administration María Jesús Montero, and Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration José Luis Escrivá.

They will also exchange views with the responsible regional ministers of Castilla-La Mancha, Comunidad de Madrid, Extremadura, Andalusia and Aragon, as well as with representatives of employers’ and workers’ associations, stakeholders of the digital industry, businesses and consulting industry and investigative press.

At the invitation of the Spanish government, members of the European Parliament will also visit a project funded under the National Recovery Plan – the National Neurotechnology Centre in Spain.

The Head of the delegation Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE), said ahead of the visit: “After the COVID-19 crisis, unprecedented amounts of funding became available to help EU economies recover.

“These funds are made available through a new performance-based recovery and resilience facility (RRF).”

She added: The system of control of EU funds for the RRF is not as established as for the EU cohesion or agricultural funding programmes.

“Spain was the first country to receive a payment of EUR 10 billion on the basis of achieved milestones, back in 2021.

“We, as representatives of EU budgetary control authority, want to see with our own eyes what is being done at Member State’s level to protect the EU’s financial interests in this new financial instrument.”

“We want to be informed about the systems for monitoring and control of the Facility, with a focus on audit, fraud prevention and detection, and cooperation with the EU Institutions,” Mrs Hohlmeier added.

“In our upcoming discharge report for the budgetary year 2021, we have already raised overall concerns about missing methodologies, a lack of transparency and other difficulties for the EU to check the implementation of RRF funds.”

“These issues can leave the EU governments with a lot of liberty and does not guarantee that all funds are spend well across Member States,” she concluded.

The news comes after the European Commission announced that Spain would receive ta third payment of Next Generation EU funds totalling €6 million.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at