Following the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan has responded to the urgent need to foster a strong recovery, while making Belgium’s economy and society more resilient and future ready. In response to the energy market disruption caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Commission launched the REPowerEU Plan. The Recovery and Resilience Facility is at the heart of its implementation and its funding. Under REPowerEU, EU countries are updating their recovery and resilience plans with new measures to save energy and diversify the EU’s energy supplies..
Focusing on green technologies and capacities - sustainable mobility, energy efficiency and renewables, climate change adaptation; circular economy; and biodiversity.
Policies for the next generation
Improving access to and the quality of general, vocational, and higher education; focusing on digital education, early childhood education and care; supporting youth employment.
Smart, sustainable, inclusive growth
promoting entrepreneurship, competitiveness, industrialisation; improving the business environment; fostering research, development and innovation, supporting small- and medium-sized businesses.
Promoting the roll-out of very high-capacity networks, the digitalisation of public services, government processes, and businesses, in particular SMEs; developing basic and advanced digital skills; supporting digital-related R&D and the deployment of advanced technologies.
Social and territorial cohesion
Improving social and territorial infrastructure and services, including social protection and welfare systems, the inclusion of disadvantaged groups; supporting employment and skills development; creating high-quality, stable jobs.
Health and economic, social and institutional resilience
Improving the resilience, accessibility and quality of health and long-term care, including measures to advance their digitalisation; increasing the effectiveness of public administration systems.
The map exclusively serves information purposes and is not an exhaustive database of projects supported by the Recovery and Resilience Facility. It does not reflect the distribution of the projects funded by the Recovery and Resilience Facility across the European Union, nor across different geographical areas or sectors within EU Member States. The RRF funding amounts shown for measures are based on the initial cost estimates included in the recovery and resilience plans.
Furthermore, the projects showcased are without prejudice to any future assessment by the Commission in the context of verifying the satisfactory fulfilment of milestones and targets under Regulation (EU) 2021/241 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
*The original plan is entirely financed by RRF grants.
- 105 investment streams and 35 reforms
- 50% of the plan will support climate objectives
- 27% of the plan will foster the digital transition.
The transformative impact of Belgium’s plan is the result of a strong combination of reforms and investments which address the country’s specific challenges. The reforms address bottlenecks to lasting and sustainable growth, while investments are targeted to accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, to maximise the benefits of the digital transformation and to ensure social cohesion. The plan also intends to improve connectivity within the country, boost labour market performance, innovation capacity of the economy and make public spending more efficient and sustainable.
All measures have to be implemented within a tight time-frame, as the Regulation on the Recovery and Resilience Facility foresees they have to be completed by August 2026.
Belgium’s challenges for the green transition include important renovation needs of the building stock to increase its energy efficiency, making mobility and the transport sector more sustainable, and increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix. Finally, biodiversity, land use and water bodies are under pressure.
Key measures for the green transition
- The plan supports the green transition through:
- Investments of over €1 billion in the energy-efficient renovation of buildings, including social housing.
- €1.3 billion investments in sustainable mobility, notably by improving railway infrastructure, financing green public buses, deploying electric charging stations, developing urban public transport and creating or refurbishing cycling pathways.
- An important reform to promote electric road transport by limiting preferential tax treatment of company cars to zero-emission vehicles by 2026.
- The plan also supports the decarbonisation of the energy sector by promoting the use of hydrogen as an energy source, with an investment of €390 million and an accompanying reform that should contribute to making it happen.
- On biodiversity and climate change adaptation €400 million will be invested for:
- Reconnecting ecosystems, enhancing protected natural areas, forests and wetlands; and
- Structural measures to sustainably manage water availability thereby increasing climate change resilience.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility will finance the development of an offshore energy hub (‘energy island’) in the Belgian part of the North Sea to allow for the connection of at least 3.15 GW of future offshore wind energy to the onshore electricity grid.
- Project locations
Digital challenges for the Belgian economy include addressing a lack of digital skills, strengthening fibre and 5G readiness and the digital transformation of public services.
Key measures for the digital transition
- Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan supports the digital transition with investments in the digitalisation of the public administration, in skills and digital inclusion, in cyber security and in connectivity.
- The plan will invest:
- €440 million in education, for a more inclusive and future-proof education system across communities with digital and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills of pupils and students and access to digital tools and technology.
- €585 million in the digital transformation of the public administration, justice system and health care system to improve access for citizens and businesses, and a set of reforms that will contribute to the deployment of 5G and the deployment of ultra-fast connectivity infrastructure, such as fibre.
Economic and social resilience
Key macro-economic challenges for the Belgian economy include a low employment rate - in particular for people with a low educational attainment, elderly and people with a migrant background, skills mismatches, low productivity growth and a business environment not sufficiently fostering entrepreneurship, as well as low public investments, in particular for the digital and green transitions in a context of high public debt. These challenges weigh on potential growth and employment.
Key measures for reinforcing economic and social resilience
- The plan reinforces economic and social resilience with measures fostering effective and inclusive education systems, skills acquisition in line with current and future labour market needs, including the green and digital transition, and the participation of vulnerable groups (low-skilled, women, people with a migrant background, people with disabilities) to the labour market.
- The plan includes measures to make public spending more efficient and sustainable.
- Spending reviews will contribute to improve the quality and efficiency of Belgium’s public spending, allowing to reprioritise it towards more growth and environmentally friendly expenditures.
- A reform of the pension regime is expected to improve the sustainability and adequacy of pensions.
- Belgium will notably invest €450million in reskilling and upskilling measures and €400 million will boost Belgium’s innovation capacity by financing research and innovation infrastructure and programmes.
- Furthermore, €198 million will finance projects on the promotion of recycling and reuse, eco-design projects and will support innovation in resource-handling and waste processing.
This reform was adopted in 2021 to better support jobseekers in Wallonia. Through the use of digital tools, remote support will be offered to the most independent job seekers, whereas stronger face-to-face support will be given to those who need it the most.
- Project locations
- The 2023 Annual Event on Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan took place on 23 March 2023.
- Participants included the European Commission, the federal State Secretary for the Recovery, and a broad range of stakeholders, including social partners, NGOs, project beneficiaries and academics.
- The discussions focussed on the implementation of Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan in the areas of the green and digital transitions as well as of skills and employment and the challenges Belgium faces in these areas.
More information on the event can be found here.
Belgium’s plan is consistent with relevant country-specific challenges and priorities identified in the European Semester, the annual cycle of coordination and surveillance of the EU’s economic policies. For a detailed explanation of the European Semester see the following link: The European Semester explained | European Commission (europa.eu)
Original Recovery and Resilience Plan (July 2021)
Updated Recovery and Resilience Plan
Annex to the COMMISSION PROPOSAL for a Council Implementing Decision amending the Council Implementing Decision of 13 July 2021 on the approval of the assessment of the recovery and resilience plan for Belgium
First payment request
Daily News: la Commission reçoit une première demande de paiement de la Belgique pour un montant de 847 millions d'euros sous forme de subventions au titre de la facilité pour la reprise et la résilience