STRATEGIES, PARTICIPATION, PARTNERSHIPS
Welcome to the Next Diba website, a space in which to share and meet the challenges and opportunities for local government, arising from the approval of the NextGenerationEU European funds, aimed at generating economic recovery and modernisation after the severe impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Here you will find important up-to-date information and news on the funds and a channel to share more mature local projects with a greater capacity for transformation with Barcelona Provincial Council.
Although there still remain major uncertainties over the participation of the different agents in the distribution and management of these extraordinary funds from the EU, especially at the local level, it is a great opportunity for local government and the social and business fabric of the province of Barcelona to come together and join forces with the rest of Catalonia and Spain, to create initiatives and projects putting us on the path toward sustainable, resilient recovery, boosting job creation and, at the same time, allowing us to tackle the environmental and digital challenges facing us as a society.
What is NextGenerationEU?
The NextGenerationEU is a temporary instrument approved by European leaders on 21 July 2020, endowed with 750 billion euros to repair the immediate economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim is to contribute to a greener, more digital, more resilient Europe that is better adapted to current and future challenges.
In the case of Spain, this means an injection of 140 billion euros in transfers (60 billion euros) and loans (80 billion euros) for reforms and investment, to be implemented between 2021 and 2026. On 7 October 2020, Spain presented an initial plan called Spain Can, to guide and mobilise European funds destined for Spain, based on four lines and ten structural reform policy levers for sustainable, inclusive growth.
Guidelines of the Spain Can Plan
10 policy levers for structural reform
Spain is expected to submit the definitive Spanish Recovery Plan by 30 April 2021 at the latest. The European Commission then has two months to assess it, after which the Council has a further four weeks to approve it. Once the Plan has been approved, the calls for subsidies and other, as yet undefined, economic support mechanisms can be published.
What is the NextGenerationEU Fund Management System?
Within the framework of the NextGenerationEU funds, local governments may be considered as executing entities of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan when they have been assigned a sub-project that receives funds destined to carry out the measures, reforms and investments foreseen by the components of the PRTR.
Local projects financed with NGEU funds are submitted to compliance with specific requirements that affect the execution and management of the sub-projects.
The measures and requirements that the executing entities of subprojects have to adopt are marked by Community rules and displayed in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and the rules and regulations deriving from it.
In this sense, the Ordre HFP/1030/2021 configures the management system of the NGEU funds and establishes the seven transversal management principles that must be complied with by the executing entities.
Below, you will find an infographic with the description of each of the transversal management principles, including resources and reference documentation that will help you in the daily management and achievement of management objectives.
How do we know if we are complying with the management principles and practices established by the PRTR?
To find out the scale of compliance with the seven transversal management principles of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, as provided for in article 2 of Ordre HFP/1030/2021, the executing entities will have to carry out an exercise self-assessment at least once a year.
Annex II of the aforementioned Order presents some self-assessment questionnaire models to quantify the risk of compliance with the established requirements. All entities have the objective of achieving the “low risk” categorization.
Next, Barcelona Provincial Council makes available to you some models of the Self-Assessment Test form that you can use to assess compliance with the management principles:
- Annex II.B.1. Essential aspects test
- Annex II.B.2. Management control test
- Annex II.B.3. Milestones and objectives test
- Annex II.B.4. Environmental damage test
- Annex II.B.5. Conflicts of interest, prevention of fraud and corruption test
- Annex II.B.6.1 State aid compatibility test and avoidance of double financing (State aid)
- Annex II.B.6.2 State aid compatibility test and avoidance of double financing (Double financing)
*To open them you must download the document.
What if the "low risk" goal is not achieved?
The executing entities subprojects will have to adopt measures aimed at improving the issues addressed by the tests.
Assistance to local authorities
In the last quarter of 2020, the Barcelona Provincial Council began the deployment of the NEXT DIBA strategy, aimed at positioning the province of Barcelona and local governments before the approval of the extraordinary NextGenerationEU funds to maximize the possibilities of attracting these economic resources.
Given this manifest desire to contribute to maximizing the absorption of these funds, Barcelona Provincial Council is launching a multi-year suport program, the Next Diba Specific Programme, addressed to local entities in the province of Barcelona within the framework of the Local Government Network Agreement Plan 2020-2023.
This Program was created with the following objectives:
1. - Contribute to maximizing the number of projects in the Barcelona area financed with Next Generation funds.
2. - Contribute to guaranteeing the effective execution of the projects financed through the Next Generation EU funds in the province of Barcelona.
Assistance to local governments will be carried out through the approval of support lines, each of which corresponds to a NextGenerationEU Fund subsidy call published by the Spanish Government, the Catalonian Government or any other entity, and to which local entities can be beneficiary entities.
With the approval of the specific Next Diba Program, and for each line of support, two technical resources are activated that will remain during the validity of the Program:
• Comprehensive advice in the application phase for municipalities with up to 5,000 inhabitants.
• Procedural advice in the application phase for all the municipalities in the province of Barcelona.
The Barcelona Provincial Council may additionally enable other technical resources, as well as economic or direct provision resources. The activation of these additional resources will be communicated to local entities through the usual channels, as well as through the Next Diba alert system.
If, on the other hand, you have a mature project for which you have not yet detected a financing opportunity and you want to share it with us, download, save and edit the following form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 of the European Union
On December 17, 2020, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted the Regulation establishing the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of the EU for the period 2021-2027. The new Regulation predisposes a long-term budget of 1,074 billion euros for the EU-27 (with 2018 prices). This budget, together with the “Next Generation EU” recovery instrument of 750,000 million euros, will allow the EU an unprecedented financing of 1.8 billion euros for the next 7 years and thus contribute to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-term priorities of the EU in the various fields of action.
The new MFF covers seven areas of spending and will provide the framework for the financing of almost 40 EU programs in the coming years. The resources will be allocated to new and reinforced priorities in all areas of intervention, including the green and digital transitions. Cohesion Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will continue to receive significant funding that will be updated to ensure that they contribute to Europe's economic recovery and the EU's green and digital goals.
The following infographic shows the main programs and funds of the MFF with their budget allocation, as well as the distribution of the resources of the "Next Generation EU" according to its instruments. Those programs of special interest at the local level are: the ERDF and ESF + EAFRD funds, the Horizon Europe programme, the LIFE programmes, Creative Europe, and the International Development and Cooperation Instrument.
Infographic of the MFF 2021-2027 and the Next Generation EU
The estimation is that most of the EU's sectoral financing programs will be adopted during the first half of 2021 and applied retroactively from the beginning of the year.
European funds of local interest from the MFF
Beyond the extraordinary resources coming from EU recovery instruments, local governments can participate and obtain European financing through programs and funds from very diverse fields promoted by the European Union year after year.
The benefits of participating in European programs go beyond being an important source of co-financing to develop local projects. Participation in European projects, as a leader, partner or associate, encourages collaboration with other municipalities, supra-local entities and other actors, as well as the access to innovative initiatives and new work methodologies, and the establishment of international contact networks. At the same time, European projects also help to give visibility to the good practices of the territory and boost the international projection.
Barcelona Provincial Council offers to local governments technical and economic support for defining projects and attracting European funding, through theOffice of Europe and International Strategy of the Directorate of International Relations.
Likewise, Barcelona Provincial Council has an office in Brussels from where it follows the day-to-day of European decisions related to the different programs of local interest. Additionally, this office monitors the community rules which are being prepared and that will have a local impact by anticipating and facilitating their implementation.