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More than ever, Europe needs unity, determination and ambition in response to the current crisis. This is the spirit in which the European Commission was developing an ambitious recovery plan for Europe, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said

on 13 May before the European Parliament. She presented to the MEPs key features of this package which consisted of two parts, the European budget and a recovery instrument funded through a larger headroom. 

She elaborated that the recovery funds would be spent across three pillars, the first one focusing on supporting the Member States to recover and come out stronger from the crisis.  New Recovery and resilience tool will fund key public investments and reforms aligned with the European priorities that is the twin transition. 

“It will be available to all Member States – whether in the euro area or not - and it will be focused on those parts of the Union that have been most affected and where resilience needs are the greatest”, von der Leyen said. 

The second pillar will focus on kick-starting the economy and helping private investment move again. Von der Leyen announced the Commission would strengthen InvestEU, and create for the first time a new Strategic Investment Facility. This will help invest in key value chains crucial for our future resilience and strategic autonomy, she said, “such as the pharmaceutical sector”.

Under the third pillar, which should be about learning the most immediate lessons from the crisis, the Commission President announced strengthening of programmes that had proven valuable during the crisis, such as RescEU or Horizon Europe, as well as creating a new dedicated Health Programme. She also spoke ofsupporting our partners by strengthening our instruments for Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation and for pre-accession assistance.

Von der Leyen said that the recovery instrument, coupled with the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), would be the ‘ambitious answer Europe needs'. “An answer that reflects our common values with a mechanism to protect the rule of law. An answer that is built on necessity but is designed for the future. This will strengthen solidarity between nations, between people, but also between generations”, she added. 

Looking ahead, von der Leyen stressed that we must not hold on to yesterday's economy as we rebuild. “On the contrary, we must boldly use this opportunity to build a modern, clean and healthy economy, which secures the livelihoods of the next generation”, she concluded.