EU leaders are back in Brussels for the first time in over five months to finalise a €750 billion recovery fund deal.
All 27 EU governments have been under pressure to aid their countries economy and businesses after it all tumbled down with Covid-19. To this, in May, the European Commission suggested raising €750 billion in pubic markets to invest in the hardest-hit sectors and countries. However, there were disagreements on how the funds were to be distributed and if such a high amount of borrowing was needed in the first place.
To solve this problem and finalise the deal, the EU governments had their first face-to-face meeting in five months. This took place last Friday in Brussels.
“I took enough shirts for the next days to be able to find an agreement here in Brussels,” Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel told CNBC. He also said that if there was no breakthrough this weekend, it would be “very bad” for Europe and financial markets, as it would raise questions about the credibility of the bloc to deliver on further fiscal stimulus.
One of the main problems is how the money should be invested across Europe. One of the proposal stated that member states will be required to present a reform plan, in which they state where the funds will be invested. These would then need to be approved by the majority of the 27 leaders.
However the Dutch government is strongly suggesting an unanimous vote. Some countries were against this suggestion as this meant that any country could end up vetoing the plans of other nations. This would also give too much power to nations over other countries projects.
“My prediction is as good as yours, but the first possibility for a deal is sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The more likely scenario is a couple of all-nighters and a deal on Monday. Failing that, deal end of July.” Alexander Stubb, the former prime minister of Finland said last Friday on Twitter.