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Flags of the European Union in Brussels

Photo: Arne Immanuel Bänsch / dpa

For the first time, the German government has requested money from the EU funding pot ARF, which was created during the Corona crisis. Specifically, it is about an amount of 3.97 billion euros, as the EU Commission announced. The money is to be used for the expansion of electromobility and hydrogen projects. In addition, the digitization of the railways, the development of vaccines and the promotion of childcare, training and digitization are mentioned as examples.

According to new calculations by the EU Commission, Germany will be able to draw on a total of 28 billion euros from the so-called Recovery and Resilience Facility (ARF) if required. Most recently, only 25.6 billion euros had been expected. According to information from Brussels, the German government wants to use the additional money to expand a program to support the purchase of electric vehicles and a program to subsidize the installation of charging infrastructure. Germany is also proposing to include a new measure to provide financial support for "green" district heating networks.

Money from new debts

The Commission now has two months to examine the German payment request. If the Economic and Financial Committee of the member states does not raise any objections, the money can flow. Also within two months, the Commission also wants to investigate whether the German plans to use the additional 2.4 billion euros are in line with the funding rules. The background to this is that funds are not to be paid until promised milestones and targets have been achieved in the implementation of planned reforms and investments.

The Recovery and Resilience Facility was created in 2021 to cope with the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest figures, it enables 338 billion euros in non-repayable grants and 385 billion euros in loans. The funds will be financed by debt, which is to be repaid jointly by 2058.