With 750 billion euros in debt, the EU Commission wants to lead Europe out of the corona crisis. But the repayment is unclear.
The EU Commission calls it “historical”. But the 750-billion-euro reconstruction plan from Brussels is facing growing resistance. Not only the “frugal four” EU countries Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are concerned about the debt-financed program. There is also criticism in the European Parliament
“The deeper you read into the recovery plans of the EU Commission, the more change requests you get,” says Rasmus Andresen. The green MEP is worried that in the end there will not be enough money left over to protect the climate. The debt-financed “recovery” instrument expires after three years. After that, the regular EU budget sewn on edge applies again. “The budget must be structurally strengthened to combat the climate crisis and make the EU climate neutral,” says Andresen. “Three strong years are not enough.”
Criticism also comes from CSU financial expert Markus Ferber. The EU Commission is missing a plan to repay the debt, said Ferber. “The Member States and the European Parliament must push for a serious financing concept. Otherwise the bad check will end up bursting,” warns Ferber. Left-wing MEP Martin Schirdewan demands that finance should be given to businesses and the rich. “The left-wing parliamentary group in the European Parliament therefore demands a one-off property tax, a comprehensive financial transaction tax and a fair digital tax.”
So far, the Brussels authorities have primarily focused on new EU taxes and levies – such as a digital tax or a CO 2 limit tax. So far, however, these “own resources” have only existed on paper. If the 27 EU countries do not agree, the debt from the EU budget must be paid off – at the expense of other tasks. So far, however, the member states have not been convinced by the draft of the EU Commission. “The overall package is not acceptable to us in terms of volume and content in its current form,” said Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blümel on Tuesday. The idea of a reconstruction fund is good, but the implementation is not.
The next EU summit on June 19 should show how great the resistance really is. Until an agreement is reached, two further summits may be necessary in July, according to Brussels. They would then take place under the German EU Presidency, so that Chancellor Angela Merkel could have the final say. Together with France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron, she had provided the template for the reconstruction fund now planned. At the same time, it has given Coronabonds a rejection. Germany is also setting the tone for national measures to combat the corona crisis – most recently with a stimulus package worth 130 billion euros.