Emmanuel Macron acknowledged that there was “no consensus on budgetary transfers” to “the regions and sectors” most affected by the coronavirus crisis.
“Go further, stronger” towards European sovereignty “: in full health crisis, this is the wish of Emmanuel Macron at the end of a European summit in videoconference, this Thursday. He spoke of “a concept that France has been pushing for almost three years”. “On sovereignty, in particular economic, industrial, strategic, military, technological, environmental, things are making strong progress and, on this, Europe is at the rendezvous of History”, according to him .
However, he acknowledged that there was “no consensus” among EU countries on budgetary transfers to “the regions and sectors” most affected by the coronavirus crisis. The French president pleaded for a vast revival plan including “not only loans but” also these financial transfers, estimating that “if one drops part of Europe, it is all Europe which will fall”.
Towards a recovery plan?
Paris wants a recovery plan in the order of 5 to 10 points of GDP (editor’s note: from 800 to 1.6 trillion euros) on which, according to him, there is an agreement in principle within the EU. But, on the modalities, it wishes the emission of debts with “a common guarantee” in order to finance “budgetary transfers towards a region or a particularly affected sector, with very clear rules and governance and accepted by all”.
On this, “there is no consensus today. Nevertheless, it is an answer that we will have to provide and I believe that our Europe has no future if we do not know how to provide this answer” , he launched. “The single market benefits certain states or regions which are the most productive because they produce goods which they can sell to other regions. If we abandon these regions, if we drop part of Europe, all of Europe will fall, “he warned.
“Very hard positions”
“The blocking countries are always the ones we know, the frugal ones: Germany, the Netherlands. Will they accept? We are in the discussion,” he added, adding: considering that they were States “whose deep psychology and political constraints justify very hard positions”.
The Head of State indicated that the deconfinement strategy that he presented on April 13 “is consistent with the common lines that the European Commission has given us”, which is “a source of confidence and comfort, because it is important that we are online with our partners” .
EU leaders on Thursday instructed the European Commission to present a budget proposal for the period 2021-2027 by 6 May, including a fund to revive the economy after the coronavirus pandemic, according to concordant sources.