(24 April 2020) – EU leaders have tasked the European Commission with designing the recovery plan for the deep economic crisis that the coronavirus COVID-19 will cause in Europe.
The mandate came after a four-hour teleconference on Thursday (23 April), in which recent tensions over how to finance the recovery, in particular between The Netherlands and Italy, were absent.
A consensus is starting to emerge on the overall framework to overcome what is likely to be the deepest recession that the bloc has suffered in its history. Following the video-summit, European Council president, Charles Michel, said that the leaders had backed an “unprecedented investment effort” as part of the recovery plan.
However, differences continue to be significant on each of the main points of the plan, such as the size and the type of instruments to channel the funds (grants or loans), which further complicates the rapid adoption every government hopes to achieve.
The rescue fund proposal will come as part of the updated draft of the multi-year budget for the next period (2021-2027), expected to be put forward within the next couple of weeks.
The Eurogroup finally agreed on a €500 billion package to support member states, companies and workers in the coronavirus crisis, after The Netherlands and Italy overcame they differences. Leaders will discuss in the coming days the recovery plan and the possibility of ‘coronabonds’.
It will come on top of the €540 billion in liquidity for countries, companies and workers already agreed by the Eurogroup, and rubber-stamped by the leaders on Thursday. (EurActiv)