Mittwoch, 25.11.2020 20:18 Uhr

Historic EU summit Recovery Fund deal for Italy

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 22.07.2020, 08:55 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Politik +++ Bericht 6158x gelesen

Rome [ENA] Premier Giuseppe Conte yesterday acclaimed an "historic" EU deal on a post-coronavirus Recovery Fund, reached after the longest summit in the Union's history. After five days of intense discussions, the Heads of State and Government reached a political compromise. The EU leaders agreed on a 750 billion euro post-virus stimulus package, consisting of 390 in grants and 360 in loans. Italy, as worst-hit EU country, will

receive the largest single slice of funding, 209 billion, or 28% of the total. It’s important to welcome the fact that at last a common position has been achieved, and that the Recovery Instrument (Next Generation EU) is financed with a borrowing of EUR 750 billion. Some essential aspects of the compromise, particularly on the long-term perspective, have produced detractors. The Recovery Instrument is an important step towards a new ambition for the Union: greener, more competitive and digital. This massive borrowing is an historical moment for the European Union, and what just happened offers an important way of recovery to the European project. Anyway, the Member States decided to entirely abandon the ‘bridge solution’,

whose objective was precisely to provide immediate crisis response to the citizens, following the Covid-19 outbreak. In a context where the virus in on the rise again, citizens need certainty. It’s important to work hard to ensure that the recovery starts without delays. Furthermore, democratic supervision must be substantially increased. Budgetary authority have to fight to be fully involved in the establishment and implementation of the Recovery Instrument. European Union citizens are asking for more European solidarity, more European action in public health, in research and digitalisation, youth, and in the historical fight against climate change. Key programmes to reach these objectives seem to be considerably shrunk,

and lost most of their extra measures under Next Generation EU. Securing improvements, including higher amounts, on future-oriented MFF programmes like Horizon, InvestEU, LIFE, Erasmus+ are needed. And if these conditions are not sufficiently met one ought to adopt the programmes on the basis of the existing MFF Multiannual financial framework, as foreseen by the Treaty. The compromise seems to be also a missed opportunity when it comes to modernising the revenue side, making it fairer and more transparent. The EU is now allowed to borrow funds but there is no certainty on how the debt will be repaid. The recovery should not reduce investment capacities nor harm the national taxpayer.

Despite the United Kingdom leaving the EU, the insistence on the rebates has been extremely tough and results in a big step back for the European project: instead of being abolished, rebates are kept and even increased. Additionally, it’s important to remain firmly against watering down the mechanism to reduce or suspend EU funding if a Member State disrespects the rule of law, and this issue should not be put off but addressed now, to continue building a Europe of fundamental rights.

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