Lithuania may get smaller-than-sought RRF funding, auditors warn

  • 2022-12-05
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The European Commission may not approve some of the measures under Lithuania's national recovery and resilience plan, meaning that the country may receive less funding than sought by the government in its first application, the National Audit Office has warned.    

Last week, Lithuania submitted, with some delay, its request to the European Commission for the first tranche of 565 million euros under the EU's Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste then said that the Commission would assess within a few months whether Lithuania has properly carried out the planned work. 

Auguste Purliene, principal auditor at the National Audit Office's Compliance Audit Department, says after auditing Lithuania's commitments under the RRF plan that the government still has some work to do on six of its commitments. 

Lithuania may see its funding cut if the Commission does not approve these commitments, she warned.  

According to Purliene, one of the 33 indicators to be implemented was the commitment to submit a draft law on property tax to the parliament for approval.

The Finance Ministry presented the bill publicly last week and plans to submit it to the parliament only in the spring. 

Mykolas Majauskas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance, has said he doubts if the bill will be passed. 

"We have a similar situation with the Sustainable Mobility Fund. Although it has been officially presented, it has not yet been launched, and its regulation has not been fully finalized," Purliene told BNS.

"The government was also to set up the Innovation Agency and divest its stake in the body, but the process of selling the state's stake is stalling in the courts," she added.

Things are even worse when it comes to the planned school network reform, because a law providing for it has been contested in the Constitutional Court, according to the auditor.

"If the court rules negatively on this issue, there is a risk that the state might not receive the EU funding this area," she said. 

It was said earlier that Lithuania would be eligible for up to 3 billion euros in loans and 2.225 billion euros in grants under the RRF.