As many EU Member States are setting up their exit strategies, proposals for recovery plans dominate the debate. Several proposals have been introduced, including the idea of recovery funds, mostly known as the “corona bonds”. However, all these proposals have repeatedly failed amongst the European leaders.
On 18 May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron made a joint proposal for a European Recovery Fund from the Coronavirus Crisis. In their statement, both leaders acknowledge the unprecedented crisis we face and the need for responsibility and solidarity. This proposal, with the European budget at its core, consists of €500 billion in recovery aid on different levels, which is a temporary and targeted fund in the framework of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027. The recovery fund supports the most affected sectors and regions in strengthening their resilience as well as the competitiveness of EU economies with more investments in digital and green transitions.
In this context, the European Green Deal and the acceleration of EU’s digital transformation are reaffirmed, including measures such as a minimum carbon pricing in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), the acceleration of 5G, cybersecurity technologies and an AI framework. Moreover, the proposal aims to reinforce the EU sovereignty in health through the increase of EU’s research and development capacities as well as a harmonisation of health data across Europe. A European Health Task Force to prevent future pandemics is also included.
Following the proposal, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen said: "The Merkel-Macron Recovery Plan initiative is an important step to overcome the negative economic consequences of the Corona crisis. Now consensus has to be reached on the basis of both European solidarity and the principles of sound finances!"
The #MerkelMacron Recovery Plan Initiative is an important step to overcome the negative economic consequences of the Corona crisis as European Union. Now consensus has to be reached on the basis of both European solidarity and the principles of sound finances! #COVID19 🇪🇺 https://t.co/qQ48xTgssD— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) May 20, 2020