Autor: Paula Gouveia
Freitas announced in parliament that the Government of the Republic ensured the Azores will have access to the 117 million euros previously allocated to the mobilizing agendas.
Through which mechanisms? Will there be "quotas" of projects to be approved for the Azores to ensure that Azorean projects will not be "neglected" among those of the rest of the country?
The access of entities from the Azores to 117 million euros of the national Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) was never in question.
At the moment, several entities from the Azores have already submitted applications for several national notices totaling 24.7 million euros.
Of these, 2.6 million euros are related to applications from Azorean companies in consortia to the "Agendas Mobilizadores", 11.7 million euros are related to applications from regional authorities to the "Bairros Comercialitais" (Digital Business District), 1 million euros to investments in housing, also promoted by regional authorities, 8.8 million euros to affordable student housing, and about 600 thousand euros related to 356 applications from Azorean families for energy efficiency in residential buildings (almost half a million euros already paid).
How will the Azorean entrepreneurs be informed so that they don't miss these opportunities?
The dissemination of the Recovery and Resilience Plan notices is made, firstly, through the national RRP platform (https://recuperarportugal.gov.pt/candidaturas-prr/).
In addition, the Regional Government publishes those notices on its website (https://portal.azores.gov.pt/web/drpfe/prr/avisos) and in the regional press.
Entrepreneurs may also request additional information from the Regional Directorate for Planning and Structural Funds and the Regional Directorate for Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness and, shortly, from the Integrated Entrepreneur Support Network offices
To which areas will the 80 million euros of the RRP reinforcement be allocated?
At this moment, it is not yet defined how the 80 million euros of the RRP-Azores reinforcement will be allocated.
It is however certain that this amount will reinforce the 580 million already managed directly by the Region; it may be used to strengthen investments that are already planned or for new investments or even for a combination of the two.
The Regional Government has already requested the Azores Economic and Social Council, as the representative entity of the Region's living forces, to present proposals.
What does the Region intend to include in the Recovery and Resilience Plan revision taking place in early 2023?
The process of revision that will begin in January 2023 will be inevitably limited, I would even say surgical, and a process of reflection on the aspects to be revised is already underway.
Also in this process, the Regional Government has already requested CESA's contribution, which is the monitoring body in the Azores.
This may involve a number of adjustments and corrections necessary to ensure that the milestones and targets are met, namely the reimbursement milestones and targets (Group A).
It is expected, for example, that some Group A milestones and targets may see their deadlines extended, up to the limit of the first half of 2026.
Some milestones and targets may be revised downwards, because of cost increases in construction and materials, or due to the scarcity of goods necessary for their fulfillment.
Any proposed change will have to be duly substantiated and supported by unmistakable evidence resulting from changes in global context.