On Sunday evening, during the dinner of the Heads of State or Government, European Council President Charles Michel called for a failure to be avoided and a compromise to be reached on a major corona repair fund and the new multi-annual budget. However, his desire to make headlines with a deal was not fulfilled.
Michel pointed out to his table companions the unprecedented impact of the corona pandemic and the numerous concessions and compromise proposals he has worked out over the past three days to bring the 27 Member States into line, and in particular to meet the wishes of the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Finland.
“Are the 27 leaders responsible for the peoples of Europe able to build unity and trust? Or are we going to present a weak Europe, undermined by mistrust? ”Is the text of Michel’s speech. “My wish is that we reach an agreement and that the European newspapers will headline tomorrow mission impossible that the European Union has accomplished. ” That wish was not fulfilled.
Michel announced a 45-minute break at around 11:30 PM, which eventually lasted for hours, however. The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Finland used this to sit together. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia met with leaders from Latvia and Slovenia.
Michel then met one-on-one with leaders. Everyone had to prepare to resume the plenary session from 4.15 am, it was said. At around 5:45 a.m., Michel’s spokesman reported that the meeting had started, only to announce that it was over 7 minutes later and that the summit would meet again on Monday at 2 p.m. After a long night without white smoke, it was decided to give it up for the time being.
Dutch prime minister wants trophy
When the heads of government blew rally on Friday morning, Michel had already pruned the proposal for the multi-year budget that the European Commission had proposed at the end of May. He held on to a recovery fund of € 750 billion, of which € 500 billion would be paid out as subsidies, the rest as loans.
While Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron already counted among the helmsmen before the summit, Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stumbled upon five ‘economical’ countries on Sunday, which considered 750 billion euros, of which 500 in planned subsidies. In addition to the opposition from Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, the Netherlands and Prime Minister Mark Rutte played a striking role.
Michel is said to have put up an offer of 400 billion euros in subsidies, but the economical Member States would stick to 350 billion euros in subsidies and 350 in loans. As much as Michel tried to accommodate ‘the thrifty’, Rutte didn’t think it was enough. According to several observers because he wants to go to the next Dutch parliamentary elections with a ‘trophy’.
“Take time for a good deal”
Michel and co also tried in separate consultation groups with countries – including Prime Minister Wilmès. to reach an agreement. The fiddling with the recovery fund caused other important issues, such as the money that can go to the multi-year budget, to be pushed back.
Christine Lagarde, the top woman of the European Central Bank, said that leaders had better take their time. “Better a good ambitious deal than a bad one.”