NextGenerationEU one year on: achievements, lessons learnt and the way forward

Past event

Strategic conversation with Gert Jan Koopman, European Commission Director General for Budget


The NextGenerationEU package, the largest stimulus package ever financed in Europe, is more than two trillion euros injected into EU economies to help rebuild a post-pandemic Europe. The goal of NextGenerationEU is to foster initiatives to create a greener, more digital, and more resilient Europe for the future. One year on, what has been achieved, what are the lessons learnt and what way forward can we expect given latest geopolitical developments?


‘What the chief says’ events are exclusive, small, informal and off the record regular roundtable debates which offer our members the exclusive opportunity to engage directly and get to the heart of a specific policy issue with a senior decisionmaker from a European institution or government. These events are geared to be in tune with the interest of our members and are strategically linked to emerging trends within the EU sphere. It allows us to focus on the opportunities and identify the possible challenges in the European Commission’s own agenda and provides the possibility to go into greater depth and discuss the ‘nitty gritty’ of policies affecting Europe in the next years and beyond.

This 60-minute discussion will include a 10-minute introduction by European Commission Director-General for Budget Gert Jan Koopman, after which Friends of Europe’s members will have the opportunity to pose comments or questions in an off-the-record exchange on the achievements, lessons learnt and way forward for NextGenerationEU.

Our events include photos, audio and video recording that we might use for promotional purposes. By registering, you give your permission to use your image. Should you have any questions, please contact us.



End of meeting


Photo of Gert Jan Koopman
Gert Jan Koopman

European Commission Director-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

Show more information on Gert Jan Koopman

Gert Jan Koopman is the Director-General of the Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, prior to which he served as the director-general of the European Commission’s budget department. In this role, he contributed to putting in place the European Union’s €800bn NextGenerationEU recovery plan, as well as the €18bn MFA+ for Ukraine. He has worked to enable its financing on the capital markets through a sovereign-style funding system. Having served the EU for nearly three decades, Koopman was previously in charge of state aid control at the Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition. His earlier assignments included senior management posts in the department for economic and financial affairs, the Commission’s economic service, as well as enterprise and industry, which supervises the smooth running of the single market. 

Dharmendra Kanani
Dharmendra Kanani

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Spokesperson of Friends of Europe

Show more information on Dharmendra Kanani

Prior to joining Friends of Europe, Dharmendra Kanani was director of policy at the European Foundation Centre (EFC). He was the England director at the Big Lottery Fund, the largest independent funder in the UK and fourth largest in the world. Dharmendra has held senior positions in the public and voluntary sectors and advisor to numerous ministerial policy initiatives across the UK.

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