- 1Spain: An attractive country for investment
- 2Setting up a business in Spain
- 3 Tax System
- 4 Investment aid and incentives in Spain
- 5 Labor and social security regulations
- 6 Intellectual property law
- 7Legal framework and tax implications of e-commerce in Spain
- AI Annex I Company and Commercial Law
- AIIAnnex II The Spanish financial system
- AIIIAnnex IIIAccounting and audit issues
- State incentives for training and employment
- State incentives for specific industries
- Incentives for investments in certain regions
- Aid for innovative SMEs
- Preferred financing of the Official Credit Institute (Instituto de Crédito Oficial or ICO)
- Internationalization incentives
- EU aid and incentives
3State incentives for specific industries
3.4. Other specific industries
126.96.36.199. Aid for risk prevention and mining safety
The regulations governing aid to the mining sector in the area of risk prevention and mining safety are currently set out in Order TED/1079/2020, of November 11, 2020, establishing the specifications in the context of native and sustainable mining.
The aim of the subsidies regulated in this Order is to encourage the development of projects related to mining safety (from the standpoint of investment and training) carried out by interested non-profit enterprises and entities, for the purpose of helping to reduce mining accidents in Spain, thereby effectively fostering, by extension, both the ecological transition process and the process of combating the demographic challenge.
The call for aid applications for projects and actions under the aforesaid Order for the year 2022 was made in the Decision of November 10, 2021, of the Secretariat of State for Energy (amended by the Decision of February 25, 2022).
Accordingly, and without limitation, suffice it to say that this most recent call for aid applications deems projects carried out in Spain in the area of mining and targeted at the areas of (i) significant investments in mining safety, including projects aimed at improving health and safety in mining sties, benefit mines and tunnels or galleries in the excavation and shoring phase and (ii); training programs in mining safety, to be eligible for financing.
Potential beneficiaries of this aid include SMEs that hold the title to the mining public domain to which the project relates or the authorization from the mining authority for the execution project for tunnels or galleries in the excavation and shoring phase, provided that they are not affected by Council Decision of 10 December 2010 on State aid to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive mines (Decision No 2010/787/EU). Non-profit institutions can also be beneficiaries of this aid, in which case they will not have to hold the title to the mining public domain, it being sufficient for them to provide evidence that they have a lawful interest relating to the mining activity and that they meet the requirements laid down by the above-mentioned Order.
The aid granted under a competitive procedure and its amount will consist of a percentage of the approved eligible investment and varies according to the following scheme:
- Aid for significant investments in mining safety: Only SMEs can qualify for this aid, and the intensity of the aid cannot exceed 20% of the eligible costs in the case of small enterprises and micro enterprises, and 10% in the case of medium-sized enterprises, subject to a minimum amount of €12,000 for the aid granted.
- Mining safety training projects: Only non-profit institutions can apply for this aid. The intensity of the aid may be up to 100% of the cost of the approved eligible investment, tied to hours of instruction evidenced and to the performance of complete courses presented in the project. In any event, the maximum amount granted to a project of this kind is €65,000 per application, whereas its minimum amount is set at €4,000. As limits on this line, it should be noted (i) that the maximum number of eligible hours is 8 hours per course, with a mandatory minimum of 3 hours; and (ii) the maximum permissible cost per worker and hour, and the total cost per worker set in each annual call for aid applications may not exceed €350 under any circumstances.
The above-mentioned call for aid applications for 2022 has set the total amount of the subsidy to be granted as a result of the submitted applications at €2,122,834.46.
188.8.131.52. Action Framework for Coal Mining
The series of measures in support of this industry is set out in the Framework Agreement for a Fair Transition in Coal Mining and the Sustainable Development of Mining Areas for 2019-2027 (Framework Agreement), executed with the Ministry for the Green Transition and the Demographic Challenge.
This Framework Agreement, which has been in force since December 31, 2018, bears in mind the current situation in the industry following the end of the aid granted to cover losses in the mines pursuant to EU requirements and in line with the current energy transition process.
Thus, the main objectives of this Framework Agreement are as follows:
- To reactivate economic growth and encourage alternative development in mining areas in order to achieve their structural transformation, economic recovery and social welfare.
- To increase the flexibility of the conditions laid down for businesses that wish to continue to extract coal as from 2019 and that have to return the aid received in accordance with the above-mentioned Decision 2010/787/EU on State aid aimed at facilitating the closure of uncompetitive coal mines.
- To maintain lines of aid to encourage the creation of business projects aimed at generating employment and providing support for the creation of related infrastructures that enable workers that have become unemployed due to the closure of the mine to regain employment.
- To design specific measures to train workers in the coal mining industry and maintain aid that helps to cover the exceptional costs linked to closure set forth in EU legislation.
The Framework Agreement instruments the following principal lines:
- Aid for exceptional costs incurred by coal businesses:
This line of aid, envisaged for the period 2019-2025, is directed at mining companies included in the Spanish Plan for the Closure of Uncompetitive Coal Mines in accordance with the aforesaid Decision 2010/787/EU.
It includes two types of aid:
- Social aid for workers in coal production units.
This aid has already been specifically implemented by Royal Decree-Law 25/2018, of December 21, 2018 on urgent measures for a fair transition of the coal mining industry and the sustainable development of coal mining areas (amended by Royal Decree-Law 27/2021, of November 23, 2021, which extended to 2025 the social assistance for labor costs of workers affected by the closure of coal mines and employed in environmental restoration efforts) and, where not expressly regulated in this law, by Royal Decree 676/2014, of August 1, 2014 establishing rules on aid due to employment costs aimed at covering exceptional costs related to plans for the closure of production units in coal mining businesses.
In particular, Royal Decree 676/2014 sets forth the direct grant of aid to companies that are pursuing or have pursued an activity related to coal production, to enable them to cover certain costs incurred on termination of their workers’ employment contracts as a result of the closure of coal production units used for the generation of electricity included under the national Closure Plan.
The purpose of this aid is to alleviate the social and regional consequences of the closure of mines and is projected to cover labor costs for older workers and compensated resignation.
In addition, the Framework Agreement provides for other social aid aimed at workers affected who do not meet the requirements to access the above-mentioned aid.
- Aid of an exceptional nature aimed at covering the costs of closure of the production units and offsetting the environmental impact.
The Framework Agreement implements this aid in order to cover the work or measures included in the restoration plans that have been authorized in advance by the competent mining authority. Eligible for this aid are mining companies that have requested authorization for, as applicable, the project to definitively abandon the facilities or the project for the definitive closure of the facilities, and which meet all other statutory requirements to be able to qualify for this aid.
The Framework Agreement also includes the possibility of adopting measures in support of workers in the industry that continue mining after December 31, 2018 in the production units of the companies included in the Spanish Closure Plan and which intend to close between 2019-2025.
Other measures are also established for workers in the industry such as (i) the performance of restoration activities; (ii) inclusion in job vacancy services; or (iii) the grant of social aid for workers in processes of reviewable total disability.
For example, as regards the above-mentioned restoration activities, it is worth noting Royal Decree 341/2021, of May 18, 2021, regulating the direct grant of aid for the environmental restoration of areas affected by the energy transition in the context of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan relating to projects for areas degraded as a result of coal mining, in the Autonomous Communities of Asturias, Aragón and Castilla y León. The Royal Decree seeks to mitigate the difficult labor and social situation in these areas as a result of the closures and added difficulties resulting from the pandemic caused by COVID-19, by promoting the maintenance of employment, in particular of surplus miners and employees of ancillary enterprises and the creation of economic activity in these territories, thereby contributing to the maintenance of the population and the creation of jobs in the short term.
- Social aid for workers in coal production units.
- Measures to revive mining areas:
Measures to revive coal-mining areas aimed at financing new business facilities and extending existing ones.
Individuals who pursue the activities on which the grant of this aid is based in the areas affected by the restructuring and modernization of the coal mining industry qualify for this aid.
Specifically, investment projects which generate employment in the area of economic activity that may receive aid, are eligible for finance, provided the following conditions are met:
- Business projects with an investment in excess of €100,000, which undertake to create 3 or more job positions and which also meet the other requirements of the Framework Agreement.
- Aid to small investment projects under the following conditions:
- Minimum amount of €30,000 and a maximum of €500,000, with minimum undertakings to create employment.
- Fall within any of the economic activities that are eligible for finance, provided that they are carried out in any of the municipalities included in the territory covered by the Closure Plan.
- Aid for alternative development in mining areas:
Infrastructures located in the municipalities affected by closures of the coal mining industry are eligible for this aid.
At present, aid aimed at boosting the development of mining areas is regulated by Royal Decree 675/2014, of August 1, 2014, regulating the direct grant of aid aimed at fostering the alternative development of coal mining areas, through the development of infrastructure projects and restoration projects in areas that have been degraded as a result of mining activities.
Autonomous communities, municipal councils and other local entities included in the geographic area of the Royal Decree, in accordance with Annex I of same (i.e., the above-mentioned territories of Aragón, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, and Asturias), are eligible for this aid.
The timeframe envisaged for this aid is until 2023, although in accordance with the regulation of the Framework Agreement, the material execution of the actions that can be financed may be extended until 2027.
The Framework Agreement establishes, in addition to the aid to revive mining areas referred to above, that mining areas may qualify for other additional measures defined in the Plan for Urgent Action in Fair Transition, which must be agreed upon between the autonomous communities, local entities and social players.
With the aim of achieving the objectives proposed and implementing the measures established in the Framework Agreement, the following Orders were published on December 31, 2020:
- Order TED/1293/2020, approving the specifications for the grant of aid aimed at small investment projects that create or maintain jobs, fostering the alternative development of mining areas, for the 2020-2023 period.
The aim of this aid is to encourage individuals and entities to locate small business investment projects in areas affected by the restructuring of coal mining and their surroundings, thereby generating alternative economic activities to coal mining.
Private individuals or legal entities, as well as the groupings of which they form part, tenancies in common and self-employed workers that are going to undertake small business investment projects that create jobs and are located in the municipalities recognized in the Order may be beneficiaries of this aid, which will be granted under a competitive procedure. The list of municipalities recognized by the Order in the above-mentioned Autonomous Communities of Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Asturias and Aragón has been updated by Order TED/340/2021, of April 8, 2021.
The aid regulated is supplemental to and compatible with other state aid provided that the maximum amount of all the aid does not exceed the projected cost of the investment. In the event of an accumulation of aid received by a project, the overall amount that is considered “de minimis” may not exceed the maximum limit of €200,000 during any period of 3 fiscal years or the period that is stipulated in each call for aid applications.
Projects that apply for aid must meet the following requirements:
- They must have been able to start the investment 1 year before the date of the call for aid applications.
- They must have a minimum amount of €30,000 and a maximum of €500,000 for the eligible investment. Also, 50% of the investment must be executed and at least €30,000 must be invested.
- They must create at least 1 job or maintain workforces equal to or greater than 3 jobs.
- The execution period stipulated by the relevant call for aid applications must be complied with.
Their amount may not exceed the maximum limit of €200,000 if the aid is granted to a single enterprise. To determine the amount, the following criteria will be applied:
- Projects in municipalities hard hit by the coal mining company closure process (Group 1) may receive a subsidy of up to 100% of the maximum intensity limit or of the maximum amount applicable to the municipality in question.
- Projects in the other municipalities affected by the coal mining company closure process (Group 2), however, may only receive a subsidy of up to 50%.
Under this Order, the Office of the Head of the Institute for the Just Transition issued its Decision of April 16, 2021, calling for applications for the aid for that year for small business investment projects that generate or maintain employment, fostering the alternative development of areas affected by the restructuring of coal mining, subject to a cap of €7,000,000.
- Order TED/1294/2020, approving the specifications for the grant of aid aimed at job creating business projects that promote the alternative development of mining areas for the 2020-2023 period (the list of municipalities included in these areas by Order TED/341/2021 having also been updated).
The aim and the scope of application of the aid regulated under this Order are the same as those established by Order TED/1293/2020 described in the preceding section, with the difference that the projects are not required to be small in scale.
Job creating business investment projects belonging to all of the economic activities that qualify to receive aid in accordance with the applicable Spanish and EU legislation, except for the steel, coal, transportation, etc. industries, are eligible for the aid.
In the case of aid requested by large companies, it can only be granted for initial investments that attract new activities to the above-mentioned areas or for the diversification of existing establishments into new products or new innovative processes.
The requirements applicable to the projects are similar to those laid down in Order TED 1293/2020, with the following differences:
- The work that implements the investment must not have started before the application for aid was submitted.
- The minimum planned investment eligible for a subsidy must be €100,000. Also, at least 50% of the planned investment be executed, guaranteeing at all times a minimum investment of €100,000.
- Projects covered by the aid must create 3 jobs.
- Prior to the 6 months following the date of notification of the final decision approving the aid requested for the project, 10% of the investment considered eligible must have been executed and paid.
- For financing purposes, (i) at least 25% of the total of the eligible costs must be financed by the beneficiary with equity or external financing, free from any type of public aid; and (ii) the enterprise or beneficiary must evidence a financial contribution, via equity or external financing, entailing at least 5% of the eligible investment.
- The execution period stipulated by the relevant call for aid applications must be complied with.
To determine the amount of the aid, the same criteria defined in Order TED 1293/2020, as mentioned above, will be applied.
Under Order TED/1294/2020, the Office of the Head of the Institute for the Just Transition issued its Decision of April 16, 2021, calling for applications for the aid for that year for business projects that foster the alternative development of coal mining areas, subject to a cap of €20,000,000.
3.4.2 Industrial Investment
The process of adapting certain traditional industrial sectors to new forms of production, against a backdrop of processes to rationalize and modernize the business segment, has caused severe losses in the productive fabric and a significant elimination of jobs.
In an effort to mitigate and, to the greatest extent possible, avoid such noxious effects on the industrial fabric as a whole and, in particular, on the areas most affected by the aforesaid adaptation process, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has been launching support initiatives with a view to promoting, regenerating or creating the industrial fabric.
Against this backdrop, the Program for Reindustrialization and Strengthening of Industrial Competitiveness (the “REINDUS” Program) had been the specific instrument of financial support for the development of strategic industrial sectors until its last call for applications for the year 2019. Currently, it is the Productive Industrial Investment Support Fund (“FAIIP”), created by means of additional provision fifty-seven of Law 11/2020, of December 30, 2020, on the General State Budget for 2021 and managed by the state-owned company SEPI Desarrollo Empresarial S.A. SME or SEPIDES (www.sepides.es) which has been accomplishing similar aims, namely, that of fostering industrial development, strengthening competitiveness and maintaining Spain’s industrial capacities.
By means of its Decision of June 4, 2021, the Evaluation, Monitoring and Oversight Committee of the FAIIP approved the call for applications for 2021 with an endowment of €600 million applicable to the combined transactions corresponding to the 2021 calendar year, distributed among ordinary loans (up to €300 million, i.e., 50% of the total), participating loans (up to €180 million, 30% of the total) and equity interests (up to €120 million, the remaining 20%). However, the endowment established for 2021 will be maintained for the 20-year term of this mechanism for fostering industrial investment, the main features of which are described below.
The financial support that these projects could receive, in general, is instrumented through long-term loans, with the following types of actions eligible for financing:
- Creation of industrial establishments, in the sense of stating up a new production activity anywhere in Spain.
- Relocation, understood as changing the location of a prior production activity to anywhere else in Spain.
- Improvements and/or modifications of production lines, that is, investing in equipment that enables the modernization of existing production or process lines or which generates the implementation of new production or process lines, in industrial establishments that are already in production at the time of the application, expressly including the productive implementation of technologies from the “Connected Industry 4.0” and of actions in the lines aimed at environmental sustainability (reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, reduction in vulnerability to climate change impacts, pollution prevention or introduction of the circular economy in the production process).
Merely replacing the machinery and/or part of the components or auxiliary production elements, as well as repairs and maintenance and the acquisition of companies are excluded from these definitions.
Projects must be located in Spain and for new projects not yet started, the start of their implementation must take place within not more than 2 years from the date on which the financing from the FAIPP Fund is formalized.
The potential beneficiaries are any commercial company or cooperative with registered office and establishment in Spain, duly incorporated and not belonging to the public sector, which pursues or is going to pursue an activity consisting of industrial production and industrial services, regardless of its size, and which must submit an application for financing via the Fund’s website (https://www.sepides.es/fondo_faiip).
The call will be open until the funds are used up and, accordingly, applications will be processed in the order submitted.
The following are considered eligible expenses:
- Acquisition of fixed assets:
- Tangible fixed assets: Expenses relating to (i) civil engineering (investments in urban development and pipelines), (ii) buildings and installations (investments to acquire, build, expand or fit out industrial buildings, as well as their installations), and (iii) production devices and equipment (acquisition of assets directly linked to production or the production process).
- Intangible fixed assets: Expenses relating to (i) specific software linked to the production process, (ii) patents, licenses, trademarks and the like, and (iii) research and development directly linked to the production process and to production devices and equipment.
- Expenses relating to (i) own staff and external collaborative arrangements required to design and/or redesign processes, directly linked to the devices and equipment in question, (ii) credit rating linked to the application for financing, (iii) audits, during the term of the financing, in the case of companies not subject to statutory audit requirements, and (iv) audits associated with justifying the investment in the context of the financing.
The acquisition cost of the eligible investments and expenses may not exceed the market value under any circumstances. SEPIDES may ask the beneficiary to prove this point by providing the appropriate supporting documentation.
The minimum eligible budget for the investments is set at €200,000, the maximum amount of the funding to be granted will be 75% of the budget considered eligible, provided that the investments in production devices and equipment and specific software linked to the production are at least 50% of the budget.
In addition, the amount of the financing from the FAIIP will be limited to the enterprise’s outstanding risk with the Fund, adjusted by the amount covered by first-demand guarantees, being a maximum of 5 times the applicant’s duly evidenced equity. In the case of companies that form part of the same consolidated group, this rule extends to the group’s consolidated amounts.
The adjusted outstanding risk with the Fund – whether from an enterprise or consolidated group – must be at the most 10% of the cumulative amount of the Fund’s budget allocations.
The financing that can be granted out of this Fund cannot, under any circumstances, constitute State aid and, accordingly, will always be granted at a market or higher interest rate/revaluation. Specifically, the applicable interest rate, which will vary according to the rating of each applicant and to the type of loan granted, is set as follows:
- For ordinary loans: 12-month Euribor plus a fixed spread between 1.5% and 4.5%, subject to a minimum equal to the applicable spread.
- For participating loans: A fixed tranche equal to 12-month Euribor plus a fixed spread between 2.5% and 5.5%, subject to a minimum equal to the applicable spread, and a variable tranche linked to activity performance parameters up to 2%.
- For equity interests: Fixed revaluation of between 5% and 8%.
However, a reduction in the interest rate of up to a maximum of 0.5% may be applied, according to the degree of fulfillment of the environmental impact criteria, provided that the percentage score obtained in the evaluation of these criteria exceeds the threshold of 55%, based on the following table:
|Impact on digital transition||20|
|Impact on green transition||20|
The repayment period of the loan will, as a general rule, be 10 years, including a possible grace period of 3 years for ordinary loans and for participating loans, and with quarterly repayment installments, without a grace period.
Lastly, the grant of the ordinary or participating loan will require the provision of a bond or guarantee, enforceable at first demand, for 10% of the disbursed amount of the financing.
If the financing takes the form of an equity interest in the entity, the term of the transaction will also be a maximum of 10 years although the maximum period until the first term of the sale and purchase of the equity interest is set at 5 years.
Lastly, it should be noted that SEPIDES will disburse the financing in tranches, conditioning the release of the funds on the fulfillment of the milestones of the project submitted. These milestones must be expressly established in the financing agreement, and the beneficiary must provide documentation supporting the performance of the activities envisaged in each milestone, which must be certified by SEPIDES before releasing the respective disbursement.
3.4.3 Pharmaceutical Industry
In its Decision adopted on November 26, 2021, the Government Delegate Committee for Economic Affairs approved the initiative to Boost Competitiveness in the Pharmaceutical Industry or PROFARMA for the 2021-2022 period. It is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and it is aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the pharmaceutical industry in Spain by modernizing the industry and fostering activities that contribute more added value (such as investments in new industrial plants and in new technologies for production as well as through fostering research, development and innovation).
This modernization entails (i) for national enterprises, seeking wider markets through internationalization, incorporating the use of new technologies in their production processes and R&D&I, improving the focus of their lines of research and (ii) for multinational enterprises, increasing their commitment to developing the industrial structure, boosting their investment effort not only in infrastructures and production activities, but also in R&D&I in Spain, improving the trade balance.
In short, the aim is to enable pharmaceutical companies to progress toward a production model that increases the ability to attract capital and generate stable and quality employment, contributing positively to the increase in Spain’s gross domestic product.
Against this backdrop, the PROFARMA Program seeks to classify and rate enterprises in the pharmaceutical industry which apply for inclusion in the program and which manufacture or market medicinal products for human use and which pursue pharmaceutical R&D&I activities in Spain, with the ultimate aim of publicly acknowledging the effort made by such enterprises in alignment with the general and specific objectives of the Program.
As new features of the call for applications for the PROFARMA Program for this period and in line with the new Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, adopted on November 25, 2020, the goal is to foster the manufacturing of medicines considered essential or strategic, research, development and manufacturing of new antimicrobial agents to reduce the threat that the development of resistance to antibiotics entails, research, development and manufacturing of medicines for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, research that better respects animal protection principles, and the development of medicines with a lower environmental impact.
As is customary, it will fall to the Office of the Secretary of PROFARMA (made up of public officials from the Directorate-General of Industry and of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) to carry out the process of assessment of the enterprises that decide to apply for the Program according to the criteria established in an assessment guide adopted by the head of the Office of the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs. The assessment will consider, among other things, both the enterprise’s resources (existence of a production plant, investment in new plants or expansion of existing plants, existence of a basic or preclinical R&D center, investment in new R&D centers, conduct of clinical trials in Spain, human team dedicated to R&D&I, participation in national and international consortiums, etc.) and the results obtained in certain areas (i.e. creation of new jobs, in both manufacturing and research, transfer of technology derived from licensing, improved trade balance, etc.) in the years 2020 and 2021.
Accordingly, and as a result of the assessment conducted, enterprises are classified in three Groups (A, B and C) depending on (i) whether or not they have their own pharmaceutical production plant or basic or preclinical R&D center and (ii) on the significance (or lack thereof) of the research activity they pursue. Equally, the head of the Office of the Secretary General for Industry and SMEs will assign them a rating (excellent, very good, good and acceptable) depending on the assessment and points obtained in accordance with the criteria and minimum score stipulated in the regulations.
The period for submitting applications for the 2022 call will run from September 14 to October 14, inclusive.
At the end of each year of the PROFARMA program (2021-2022), the progress made in the targets set will be measured using the following indicators:
|INDICATORS||2021 CALL||2022 CALL|
|R&D investment||€40 million||€41 million|
|Production investment||€340 million||€344 million|
|R&D&I expenses||€1.25 billion||€1.255 billion|
|Trade balance||€-3.5 billion||€-3.35 billion|
|% current expenditure on R&D / NHS sales||17.8%||18%|
Beyond the PROFARMA Program, it should be noted that the Ministry of Science and Technology signed on March 3, 2021 a Pact for Science and Innovation in which a commitment was made that, as a general rule, public funding in R&D&I would regularly increase until reaching 1.25% of GDP in 2030, which would entail reaching 0.75% before 2024. The signatories to the Pact included both agents from the pharmaceutical industry and the National Business Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (FarmaIndustria).
These aims tie in directly with many of the investments and reforms included in Component no. 17 of the National Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan aimed at “Institutional reform and strengthening of the capacities of the national science, technology and innovation system”, in its application to the health field and, particularly, with one of the specific objectives of the Strategic Economic Recovery and Transformation Project (“PERTE”) in Avant Guard Health approved on November 30, 2021, and consisting of fostering the development of advanced therapies and other innovative or emerging drugs and facilitating their transfer to clinical practice, through the necessary alliances between the academic and business sectors and the strengthening of the industrial fabric based on the intensive use of knowledge, to which more than €140 million in public funds will be allocated between the different lines and programs applicable during the 2021-2023 period.
Lastly, at the European level, mention should be made of the approval, on February 17, 2021, of the European bio-defense preparedness plan “HERA Incubator” against COVID-19 variants as a mechanism with which, in the short term, to combat the new COVID-19 variants and, in the long term, to prepare the EU for health emergencies. The plan establishes measures to (i) speed up the regulatory approval of vaccines, (ii) create new advance purchase agreements for medicines, and (iii) study the possible grant of aid for vaccine production, intermediary inputs and infrastructures.