EU leaders still need to resolve disputes over the size and duration of the bloc’s recovery package as well as how funding should be allocated and overseen, European Council President Charles Michel told them ahead of a videoconference meeting.
The European Commission last month put forward a revamped proposal for a €1.1 trillion long-term EU budget and a new €750 billion Recovery Instrument — funded with borrowed cash — to tackle the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
In a letter to leaders ahead of Friday’s videoconference, Michel said that he feels a consensus has emerged that “the response should be financed through Commission borrowing on the financial markets” and that “our effort should be targeted towards the most affected sectors and geographical parts of Europe.”
Nevertheless, a host of key issues remains unresolved and will need to be debated among leaders, according to the Council chief.
The questions still up for discussion include “the size and duration of the various elements of the Recovery Plan,” as well as “the best way to allocate the assistance and the issue of loans and grants,” and “questions relating to conditionality and governance,” Michel wrote.
Leaders are also undecided on the size and content of the bloc’s 2021-2027 budget, how it would be financed, and whether some countries would receive reductions to their contributions, he wrote.
The European Commission and some EU governments are pushing for a quick deal on the budget and recovery package in July. Nevertheless, some officials say a few weeks may not be enough to tackle the complex proposal.
“Our ultimate goal is to reach a deal as soon as possible,” Michel wrote in his letter. “There is still quite some way to go towards an agreement, so we will need to work hard in the coming days and weeks.”