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Revised Coronavirus Recovery Fund to Break Deadlock among EU Leaders

July 18, 2020, 09.30 PM

BRUSSELS, – In a bid to break a deadlock between the 27 EU leaders, European Council President Charles Michel offered a revised plan on the bloc’s coronavirus recovery fund.

Saturday is the second day of a Brussels-based summit gathering all of EU leaders. News of a revised coronavirus recovery fund was confirmed by diplomats and officials.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed his hesitance to agree on a €750 billion worth of free grants as part of the coronavirus recovery fund.

Read also: Down to the Wire as EU Leaders Discuss Coronavirus Recovery Fund

The figure has been further reduced from €500 billion to €450 billion.

Plans for an ‘emergency brake’ in fund disbursements were also introduced to appease the wealthier but thriftier northern EU member-states.

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The northern EU states also requested conditions be attached to grants while preferring the bloc’s countries most affected by the pandemic to take loans.

The proposal would also increase rebates on the core EU budget for Austria, Denmark, and Sweden.

Moving right

The new proposal on the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund was deemed “a serious step in the right direction” by a Dutch diplomat on July 18.

Demands from the Netherlands left EU leaders in a deadlock as the bloc struggled to narrow differences over the proposed mass stimulus.

"In the end, this is a package and there are many more issues to solve. But the proposals on governance as put forward by (European Council President Charles) Michel is a serious step in the right direction. Many issues remain and whether we get there will depend on the next 24 hours," the diplomat said. 

(Writer: Francesco Guarascio, Gabriela Baczynska | Editor: John Chalmers) 


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