European Commission approves Belgium’s recovery plan

The European Commission has approved Belgium’s 5.9 billion euro ($7 billion) plan to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and to boost green transition.

“An ambitious plan focused on a transition towards a more sustainable, more digital and more united society,” Thomas Dermine, Belgium’s secretary of state for recovery and strategic investments, said in a tweet on Wednesday.

“The symbol of a successful collaboration between the different entities of the country that I have had the privilege of leading.”

The plan will help accelerate economic recovery in Belgium after months of losses caused by the pandemic, and will align the country’s priorities with those of the European Union (EU) on climate change, and social and digital transition, reports Xinhua news agency.

The plan was submitted to the European Commission by the Belgian federal government in April.

“I am very happy to announce that today the European Commission has given its green light to Belgium’s recovery and resilience plan,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference.

“Almost 50 per cent of the plan will go towards supporting environmental plans and help protect the climate,” she added.

Belgium plans to develop green energy technologies, such as the production of green hydrogen, and to boost the transition to green mobility.

The country also plans infrastructure investments.

Among other things, 1.3 billion euros are earmarked for building a sustainable transport system with electric buses and new cycle lanes; one billion euros for building renovation; and another one billion euros for CO2 offsetting transport and climate change projects.