The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza, NRRP) is part of the Next Generation EU (NGEU) programme, namely the € 750 billion package – of which about half is in the form of grants – that the European Union negotiated in response to the pandemic crisis. The main component of the NGEU programme is the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which has a duration of six years – from 2021 to 2026 – and a total size of € 672.5 billion – of which € 312.5 billion is in the form of grants, and the remaining € 360 billion is in the form of low-interest loans.
The Recovery and Resilience Plan presented by Italy envisages investments and a consistent reform package, with € 191.5 billion in resources being allocated through the Recovery and Resilience Facility and € 30.6 billion being funded through the Complementary Fund established by Italian Decree-Law No. 59 of 6 May 2021, based on the multi-year budget variance approved by the Italian Council of Ministers on 15 April. The total amount of funds envisaged amounts to € 222.1 billion. In addition, a further € 26 billion has been earmarked for the implementation of specific works and for replenishing the resources of the Development and Cohesion Fund by 2032. A total of some € 248 billion will thus be available. In addition to these resources, there are also those made available by the REACT-EU programme, which will be spent in the years 2021-2023 in accordance with EU regulations. These funds amount to a further € 13 billion.
The Plan is developed around three strategic axes shared at a European level: digitisation and innovation, ecological transition, and social inclusion. It is an intervention that aims at repairing the economic and social damage caused by the pandemic crisis, contributing to addressing the structural weaknesses of the Italian economy, and leading the country along a path of ecological and environmental transition. The NRRP will substantially contribute to reducing territorial, generational and gender gaps.
The Plan allocates € 82 billion to the South out of a total of € 206 billion that can be distributed according to geographical criteria (i.e., 40%) and also provides for significant investments in young people and women.
The Plan has six missions.
- ‘Digitisation, Innovation, Competitiveness, Culture’ allocates a total of € 49.2 billion (of which € 40.7 billion from the Recovery and Resilience Facility and € 8.5 billion from the Complementary Fund) with the aim of promoting the country's digital transformation, supporting innovation in the production system, and investing in two key sectors for Italy, namely tourism and culture.
- ‘Green Revolution and Ecological Transition’ allocates a total of € 68.6 billion (€ 59.3 billion from the RRF Facility and € 9.3 billion from the Fund) with the main goals of improving the sustainability and resilience of the economic system and ensuring a fair and inclusive environmental transition.
- ‘Infrastructure for Sustainable Mobility’ allocates a total amount of € 31.4 billion (€ 25.1 billion from the RRF Facility and € 6.3 billion from the Fund). Its primary objective is the development of a modern, sustainable transport infrastructure extended to all areas of the country.
- ‘Education and Research’ allocates a total of € 31.9 billion (€ 30.9 billion from the RRF Facility and € 1 billion from the Fund) with the aim of strengthening the education system, digital and technical-scientific skills, research and technology transfer.
- ‘Inclusion and Cohesion’ provides for a total allocation of € 22.4 billion (of which € 19.8 billion from the RRF Facility and € 2.6 billion from the Fund) to facilitate labour market participation, including through training, strengthen active labour market policies and foster social inclusion.
- ‘Health’ allocates a total of € 18.5 billion (€ 15.6 billion from the RRF Facility and € 2.9 billion from the Fund) with the aim of strengthening local prevention and health services, modernising and digitising the health system and ensuring equal access to care.
The Plan also includes an ambitious programme of reforms to facilitate the implementation phase and, more generally, to contribute to the modernisation of the country and make the economic environment more favourable to the development of business activities:
- A Public Administration reform to provide better services, encourage the recruitment of young people, invest in human capital and increase the level of digitisation.
- A justice reform to reduce the length of legal proceedings, especially civil proceedings, and the heavy burden of backlogs.
- Simplification measures horizontal to the Plan, e.g., in matters of permits and authorisations and public procurement, to ensure the implementation and maximum impact of investments.
- Reforms to promote competition as an instrument of social cohesion and economic growth.
The NRRP will have a significant impact on economic and productivity growth. According to the Italian Government, 2026 will see GDP rise 3.6 percentage points higher than in a baseline scenario that does not include the introduction of the Plan. The governance of the Plan envisages direct responsibility of Italian Ministries and Local Governments for carrying out the investments and reforms that they are to implement within the agreed timeframe, and for the regular, proper and effective management of resources. A significant role will be played by Local Authorities, which are responsible for investments amounting to more than € 87 billion. The Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance will monitor progress in the implementation of reforms and investments and will be the sole point of contact with the European Commission. Finally, a Steering Committee will be set up at the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers.