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Debate on EU budget and recovery: “A deal in the Council is not the final deal”

Looking back on the 19 June and forward to the 17 July European Council meetings, MEPs conveyed their stance on future EU financing and economic recovery.

In the debate with European Council President Charles Michel and Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič, most MEPs reiterated that the Commission’s proposals for the recovery package and a revamped long-term EU budget are the bare minimum that is acceptable for Parliament.

MEPs also demanded a proper repayment plan, including several new “EU Own Resources” - sources of revenue - like a digital tax or one based on the Emissions Trading System (ETS), to avoid citizens having to pay back the recovery debt.

Several members insisted that

  • conditions attached to the recovery funds must not result in new austerity measures,
  • rule of law must be respected,
  • investments must strengthen the EU’s resilience, for example by boosting the digital agenda.

While for some MEPs the whole package amounts to a “meagre 1,5%” of the EU’s GNI, others, however, said the size of the package was too big and deplored that the EU would be taking on debt.

A number of MEPs said that it is important to look at the long term, in case there are more lockdowns to come. They underlined that “a deal in the Council is not the final deal”, as the European Parliament stands ready to negotiate. It will have a final say (vote by absolute majority) before the 2021-2027 long-term budget (MFF) can enter into force.

As provided for under Article 324 of the Treaty, David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, in her capacity as rotating Presidency of the Council, as well as Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, have met with Commission President von der Leyen on 8 July to take stock of progress and prepare the political negotiations that lie ahead.

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