A historic agreement, to be improved and implemented
By Sébastien Maillard, Director, Jacques Delors Institute.
The European Council has agreed on a recovery plan and a long-term European budget. The European Parliament will be tasked with making improvements to the budget while the European Commission will work with the Member States to implement the plan.
It’s a potentially better-integrated and more united European Union which has emerged from the landmark agreement reached by the 27 Heads of State and It’s a potentially better-integrated and more united European Union which has emerged from the landmark agreement reached by the 27 Heads of State and Government in Brussels on the dawn of 21 July. The milestone recovery plan backed by the European multiannual budget was approved after more than four days and nights of bitter negotiations. The scale of the response set out by this agreement to aide the economies most affected by Covid-19 coupled with the signs of progress for European integration are most welcome. Now fast, visible and practical action is needed to ensure the astronomical sums which have been announced to Europeans are not just a distant promise. While the European Commission must get organised to put the agreement into practice, part of the stimulus package still needs to be ratified by each of the national parliaments. Consistency must also be ensured with the European Parliament as regards the multiannual budget. The resolution adopted by a large majority of MEPs on 23 July reflects their expectations. These offer an opportunity to improve upon a compromise which was reached through ambiguities that are not always constructive and to the detriment of policies that are key to the future of the EU bloc itself. ▪▪▪