After two days of meetings, the 27 EU leaders have not yet reached an agreement on a European recovery fund of EUR 750 billion to combat the corona crisis and on the European multi-annual budget of nearly EUR 1.100 billion. There will be further talk on Sunday, sources report to NU.nl on Saturday evening.
Charles Michel, the Belgian President of the European Council bringing together EU heads of government, is working on a revised proposal based on the talks he had with EU leaders on Saturday.
Mark Rutte in particular is seen as getting in the way of an agreement. He heads the ‘economical’ team in Europe, which also includes Denmark, Austria and Sweden.
These countries prefer a recovery fund with only loans. There is also room for gifts in the Brussels proposals. Rutte would still like to take that, but then there must be clear reforms that must be monitored by every Member State.
An ’emergency braking procedure’ was discussed on Saturday, allowing Member States to block a grant if the reform requirements are not met.
Opposite ‘team economical’ are in particular Italy and Spain. These countries want as few strict conditions as possible and prefer to see gifts instead of loans. The leaders of these countries consider this the best way to get their economies working again when the corona crisis is over.
“We are at an impasse,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said via a video message on Facebook. “It is more complicated than expected.” Rutte’s camp and his Austrian colleague Sebastian Kurz told us that the discussion was moving in the right direction for them.