BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission approved on Wednesday France’s 39.5 billion euro plan to recover from the pandemic and transform the economy to become greener and more digitalised in coming years.
The scheme will be financed from EU grants until 2026. Once the plan is also approved by EU finance ministers in July, France will get 5.1 billion euros in pre-financing for projects foreseen under the plan.
More cash will be paid out on completion of agreed stages of the reforms and investment spelled out in the approved plan.
The Commission said France planned to spend 46% of its money to reach climate-neutrality goals, including investment in the energy renovation of buildings, clean mobility infrastructure and vehicles and the decarbonisation of industrial processes.
Paris will also invest in green technologies that should promote the deployment of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, the preservation of biodiversity, ecological restoration, improvement of forest management and extension of wooded areas.
The French plan devotes another 21% of the total to make the economy more fit for the digital era, including investment in research, new digital technologies, the digitalisation of public administration, cybersecurity, electronic identity and eHealth.
France will also invest in digital connectivity in rural areas, in the digitalisation of firms and digital education and skills.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski)