European recovery Plan : still no major breakthrough in sight - The Point

The 27 leaders of the EU were at dinner Saturday evening in Brussels after a series of multilateral meetings without significant penetration in the search for a

European recovery Plan : still no major breakthrough in sight - The Point

The 27 leaders of the EU were at dinner Saturday evening in Brussels after a series of multilateral meetings without significant penetration in the search for a compromise on a stimulus plan post-coronavirus massive. The discussions stumble on the requirements of the country's most " frugal ", to the chagrin of the capitals of the south. The discussions are set to resume Sunday at noon.

The unanimity of the member States are required, a compromise is especially hard on the recovery plan, backed by the long-term budget of the EU (2021-2027) 1 074 billion euros. Charles Michel had initiated the discussions Saturday on the basis of a revised proposal, offering more guarantees to countries reluctant, the netherlands in the lead.

Read also european recovery Plan : a gesture in the direction of the frugal

"Deadlock"

In a video message on Facebook released in the end of the afternoon, the Italian Prime minister Giuseppe Conte has described the negotiations as " a lot more difficult than anticipated ", pointing to a " dead-end situation ". "The netherlands and other frugal (Austria, Denmark, Sweden, editor's note) do not understand the need for a strong response ", he lamented. A diplomat of the netherlands has conceded that the proposal presented in the morning was " a step in the right direction."

"It is, as you might expect, a difficult battle, a negotiation lasts, but we are going in the right direction and this is the most important," said his side the chancellor, the austrian Sebastian Kurz. The day of Friday had ended in a great tension in the face of the inflexibility of the netherlands. With its new proposal, Charles Michel, mediator of the summit, had hoped to weaken the position of holdouts by offering concessions, in particular on the distribution between grants and loans, as well as on the conditions that govern the payment of the money.

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"Prevent"

The recovery plan, based on a proposal of the German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron, always includes the amount of 750 billion euros. At the end of the day, one of the options on the table was, while retaining this global amount, to play on the division between grants and loans, increasing the share of the first $ 300 billion (compared to 250 in the original proposal), has explained a source in europe. The "frugal" clearly prefer loans to grants. And in order to satisfy the States with the most applicants of this assistance, to strengthen, within the envelope of the subsidies, the share reserved to States for their plans of reforms and investments.

try To flex the Dutch Prime minister Mark Rutte and Charles Michel proposed a mechanism allowing a country that would have reservations about the reform plan presented by another State in consideration of the assistance to open "within three days" a debate to 27, or in front of the european Council (that is to say, the executive), either in front of the Finance ministers of the EU. A response to the wish of Mark Rutte, to ensure the proper use of these funds, see these national plans validated by the 27 unanimously, which would provide a de facto veto to any capital city. Such a mechanism "is still an obstacle," according to a diplomatic source in Spanish, a country with Italy will be the main beneficiary of the aid.

Read also Poland at the heart of a conflict of civilization in Europe

The southern States fear that it is not required to submit to a program of reforms (labour market, pensions...) imposed, as in Greece in the past. Another boost of Charles Michel to overcome the resistance : he is proposing to increase certain "rebates" granted to the countries that pay more money to the EU budget than they receive. This would be the case for Vienna, Copenhagen and Stockholm - but not The Hague or Berlin. In addition to these touchy subjects, others promise yet to weigh in on the discussions, in particular the issue of linking the disbursement of european aid to the respect of the rule of law, that cringe Budapest and Warsaw, scarcely addressed until now. The Prime ministers of hungary and poland, Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki, have each been received by Charles Michel in the afternoon.

Consult our folder : Coronavirus : the world stop

Updated Date: 18 July 2020, 17:33

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