Council of Ministers

The Government of Spain approves the draft Crea y Crece law to facilitate the creation and growth of companies

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Tuesday 30 November 2021

The Council of Ministers has approved the referral to Parliament of the draft Crea y Crece Law, one of the main reforms of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

The First Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for the Economy and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, explained that the aim of the regulation is to boost the creation of companies, facilitate their expansion and improve the business climate throughout the country.

Calviño stressed that the future regulation reduces the economic cost of setting up companies and simplifies procedures. It will be possible to set up a Limited Liability Company with a share capital of one euro, as opposed to the current minimum of 3,000 euros; moreover, online creation is promoted, with the consequent reduction of time and notary and registry costs.

To foster business growth, the regulation includes measures against late payment in commercial transactions, one of the main causes of liquidity, profitability and solvency problems of many companies, especially SMEs.

Among these initiatives, Calviño highlighted the obligation to issue and send electronic invoices in all commercial relations between companies and self-employed people in order to guarantee greater traceability and control of payments. In addition, the text establishes that companies that do not comply with the legal payment deadlines will not be eligible for public subsidies, including those under the Recovery Plan. The Government foresees the creation, within six months, of a state observatory on late payments, which will be in charge of monitoring deadlines.

The regulation improves the efficiency of the regulatory framework for economic activities by simplifying existing legislation, removing obstacles, streamlining procedures and extending the catalogue of activities exempted from licensing. It also reinforces the role of the new sectoral conference for Regulatory Improvement and Business Climate.

The project promotes alternative instruments to bank loans, such as crowdfunding or participatory financing, collective investment and venture capital.

Audiovisual communication

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe Government has agreed to submit the draft General Audiovisual Communication Law to Parliament, which adapts the legislation to the reality of a growing market in constant technological transformation, with new platforms and regulates the equal treatment of all agents operating in the market.

Nadia Calviño insisted on the need to strengthen Spain's role as an audiovisual hub in Europe and the Spanish audiovisual hub in the international industry as a whole.

According to the first vice-president, the bill illustrates the Government's strong commitment to the promotion of Spanish and the other co-official languages in the audiovisual field. "We have achieved a good balance between promoting national production, broadcasting in co-official languages and strong support for the audiovisual sector and attracting investment, economic activity and talent to our country," she said.

Calviño stressed that the future law incorporates principles applicable to the entire audiovisual sector for the first time, which are inspired by the values of our democratic societies: the protection of human dignity and, in particular, of women; the obligation to transmit a respectful and appreciative image of people with disabilities; the promotion of linguistic pluralism and the veracity of information.

The regulation also strengthens the protection of minors by requiring all service providers to provide information on content that may be harmful to minors. It sets enhanced protection schedules for free-to-air TV service and requires video-sharing platforms to operate age verification systems.

The vice-president also stressed that subliminal, tobacco and electronic cigarette advertising is prohibited, as well as advertising that violates human dignity or uses the image of women in a degrading manner. Advertising of alcoholic beverages is restricted to certain time slots.

The text strengthens the promotion of European audiovisual works by independent producers and encourages the production of audiovisual works directed or produced by women. Linear audiovisual media service providers will have to reserve 51% of broadcasting time for European audiovisual works. Of this percentage, 50% is reserved for works in the official language of the State or of the autonomous communities. Of this sub-quota, RTVE will have to reserve a minimum of 15% for works in one of the official languages of the communities. The regulation provides for the possibility of establishing aid programmes for the subtitling or dubbing of audiovisual works in these languages.

The draft law provides for RTVE to be financed by contributions from all players in the audiovisual market competing for the same audience.

Nadia Calviño stressed that the bill approved today complements the General Telecommunications Law, approved on 16 November, and announced that in the coming weeks investments related to the audiovisual hub, innovation projects in this area, the renewal of equipment and the creation of the office for attracting filming will be agreed.

Limitation of flights from southern African countries

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoIn response to the appearance of a new variant of COVID-19, known as "omicron", the Council of Ministers has suspended flights between certain southern African countries and Spanish airports.

The Executive's spokesperson specified that from 00:00 hours on 2 December until 24:00 hours on 15 December, flights will only be allowed from any airport in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe to any airport in Spain for aircraft that are carrying Spanish or Andorran nationals; residents of Spain or Andorra; passengers in international transit to a non-Schengen country with a stopover of less than 24 hours without leaving the transit zone of the Spanish airport.

She also clarified that, although the agreement has been approved today, the requirement of a vaccination certificate and negative PCR, the compulsory quarantine for all passengers coming from countries at risk and the need to carry out an antigen test on arrival at Spanish airports have been in place since Friday.

Spain is a safe country

The spokesperson said that Spain is acting with absolute speed to detect possible cases of the new variant and to apply the appropriate protocols in coordination with European authorities. "Spain is a safe country that continues to lead the vaccination indicators and is the country with the lowest incidence in our environment," she added.

Isabel Rodríguez has called for responsibility, prevention and vaccination in order to approach the coming Christmas season as normally as possible. She also reiterated the Government's commitment to solidarity vaccinations: "We are the fifth country in absolute terms for vaccine donations. We are going to work towards the commitment by the President of the Government of Spain to donate 50 million doses before the end of the first quarter of next year".

Cutting-edge Health

The Government has approved the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) for Cutting-edge Health, a public-private partnership instrument that seeks to transform the field through science and innovation. The goal is to foster a high-performance healthcare system based on precision medicine, advanced therapies and artificial intelligence.

This PERTE foresees an investment of at least 1.469 billion euros between 2021-2023, with a public contribution of more than 982 million euros and a private investment estimated at around 487 million euros.

Treatments with names and surnames

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe Minister for Science and Innovation, Diana Morant, has assured that cutting-edge health aims to ensure that each patient receives a treatment "with names and surnames" thanks to the equitable implementation of personalised precision medicine, the promotion of advanced therapies and innovative drugs, and the use of different data sources.

Morant explained that precision medicine is a clinical process that incorporates people's genomic data and combines it with other data relevant to their health, such as clinical or socio-economic data, lifestyle habits or even their environmental exposure, so that, when used in a precise and integrated manner, it can improve individual decision-making and public health.

Advanced therapy medicinal products include gene and cell therapies and tissue engineering, and are the paradigm for patient-driven therapeutic innovation.

The minister gave the therapy against lymphoblastic leukaemia developed and produced by Dr Álvaro Urbano and his research team at the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona as an example, in which they genetically modify the patient's defences so that they are capable of attacking cancer cells with a hundred times greater force.

"This is already happening in our country, in our public health system," stressed Morant, "and this is what we want to continue happening, with unprecedented public investment so that no one has to cross the ocean and spend thousands of euros on advanced treatment because it can be their country and their National Health System that makes this treatment available.

Growth and innovation in the health sector

The minister pointed out that this PERTE is also an opportunity to contribute to prosperity, economic growth and job creation in the health sector, "very important in our country as the figures show: public health spending in 2019 was more than 75 billion euros, 6% of GDP".

The project is expected to generate a contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than 4.3 billion euros and create some 12,700 jobs, thanks to the boost from European funds and also to the public-private partnership "of the 21st century, where the entrepreneurial state invests and cooperates with companies", said Morant.

The four key objectives are to position Spain as a leader in advanced therapies and innovative drugs aimed at curing diseases such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases such as motor neurone disease (MND); to transfer research to companies so that therapies are produced and manufactured in Spain; to develop a digital National Health System for the collection and analysis of all the necessary data; and to bring the digital transformation to primary care.

Boosting research

Also in the field of science and research, the minister continued, the Executive has authorised the 2021 call for "Severo Ochoa" centres of excellence and "María de Maeztu" units of excellence. Specifically, 44 million euros of financing will be available - 10% more than in the previous edition - to the best research centres and units in Spain, according to the international relevance of their results and their significant contribution to extending the frontier of knowledge.

In addition, 19 million euros will be earmarked for the recruitment of PhDs or doctoral students in companies through the call for 240 grants under the "Torres Quevedo" and "Industrial Doctorates" programmes. The first will have 15 million to hire 180 PhDs to carry out industrial research projects, experimental development or preliminary technical feasibility studies. The second, with a budget of four million euros, will subsidise the training of 60 doctoral students.

"These calls will produce more research excellence, more opportunities for people who research and innovate in our country and more innovation culture in our companies," said Diana Morant.

Digital transformation of the autonomous communities

The Government has agreed to distribute more than 118 million euros among the autonomous communities and cities for their digital transformation and modernisation, one of the components of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan. This amount corresponds to 2021, while in 2022 and 2023 a further 450 million will be earmarked.

The allocation proposal, based on population, will be submitted to the Public Administration's Sectoral Conference. The regional governments and cities must provide information on the different projects they propose to finance, which will deal with digitalisation, digital infrastructures, smart operations, cybersecurity or health.

The aim, said Isabel Rodríguez, is to achieve a 21st century administration that is "easier for citizens".

Subsidy for the rehousing of families from the Cañada Real Galiana

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Fernando CalvoThe Government has granted a subsidy of five million euros to the city councils of Madrid and Rivas Vaciamadrid to implement rehousing programmes for families in a situation of extreme social vulnerability in sectors four, five and six of the Cañada Real Galiana.

Isabel Rodríguez has framed this agreement within the Executive's commitment to the fight against poverty and inequality. She also urged each administration to fulfil its responsibility to tackle the serious problem of social exclusion and violation of basic rights in the area, which the United Nations Human Rights Council has also warned about.

The minister recalled that the current regional pact for the Cañada Real sets out a roadmap and establishes that, as a matter of urgency, access to electricity supply for the people living in this settlement must be guaranteed.

Changes in the Basque Agreement

The Council of Ministers has amended the Economic Agreement Law with the Basque Country to adapt it to the EU directive on cross-border electronic VAT and to the new taxes on financial transactions and on certain digital services.

Specifically, it clarifies which administration is competent to demand payment of cross-border electronic VAT; in the case of the other two taxes, it is established that the Provincial Councils will demand the payment by applying the same rules as the State and that the inspection competence will depend on the taxpayer's tax address.

International Day of Action against HIV/AIDS

The Executive has adopted an institutional declaration on International Day of Action against HIV/AIDS, which is commemorated every 1 December. Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the first diagnosed case, the spokesperson said.

In the text, the Government expresses its commitment to ending HIV as a public health problem by 2030 and affirms that the achievement of this goal must be done from the perspective of equal rights, equal treatment and equal opportunities.

Recognition of Almudena Grandes

Isabel Rodríguez also informed that the Government has posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts to the writer Almudena Grandes, who died on Saturday.

The spokesperson acknowledged Grandes' contribution to the internationalisation of Spanish literature and the promotion of reading.

Non official translation