July 7, 2020

The EP warns that it does not resign to amend the post-COVID recovery plan



The European Parliament (EP) insisted on Tuesday that it will not give up its right to modify the economic recovery plan agreed by the Member States of the European Union (EU) only to speed up the procedures, so it urged the Council (the countries ) to reach a pact as soon as possible.

“We will speed up the most urgent decisions (…) but we will negotiate the total package with all its components until the end of the year,” said the president of the Eurochamber Committee on Budgets, Jan van Overtveldt, at a press conference on the future multiannual financial framework 2021-2027.

On 17 and 18 July, the heads of state and government of the EU will hold a summit to negotiate the recovery plan proposed by the European Commission, which foresees that this multi-annual budget will be endowed with 1.1 billion euros and complement it with a fund recovery of 750,000 million.

The objective is to reach an agreement before the summer break, since later they will have to negotiate parts of it with the European Parliament and the final text will have to be ratified by some national parliaments so that the money begins to reach its beneficiaries in 2021.

“The EP is ready to go fast and will do so if circumstances dictate, but there is no reason why the responsibility for going fast should be solely with the EP, which has been waiting almost two years for the Council,” said Van Overtveldt referring to the negotiations on the financial framework, which started in 2018 and had hardly progressed.

“This Parliament will not give up its powers and rights for the sake of urgency because we are talking about decisions that commit us to seven years and are a profound change in the way of conceiving the budget,” he insisted.

Thus, he asked Germany, which will occupy the EU presidency from tomorrow, to achieve a quick compromise between the Twenty-seven, but to start meeting “as soon as possible” with the MEPs.

The former Belgian minister recalled that the European Parliament has the same power as states to decide on important elements, such as legislation on spending programs or conditionality linked to the rule of law, as well as veto power over the financial framework agreed upon by the countries, to which you have to give your consent.

The European Parliament has, for example, power to decide on the legal basis of the Mechanism for Recovery and Resilience (the bulk of the recovery fund, with 560,000 million) and MEPs do not rule out questioning the process proposed by the Commission to approve and execute aid since it excludes them.

Although the EP has not yet established a position in this regard, they do not rule out asking for a more relevant role in the process of adopting reform plans within the European Semester – the cycle of economic coordination in the EU – and in their implementation. .

The proposal on the table foresees that the Commission will have to approve the reform and investment plans submitted by each country to receive aid from this Mechanism, with the prior approval of the rest of the States, through a more technical than political process, but this could change during negotiations.

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