The leaders of the 27 European Union (EU) member states on Thursday reached an agreement on the EU long-term budget and recovery fund, paving way for the implementation of the recovery package totaling over 1.8 trillion euros (2.19 trillion U.S. dollars) to tackle the socio-economic consequences of COVID-19 pandemic.
The landmark recovery package will drive forward EU’s green and digital transitions, European Council President Charles Michel tweeted during the EU Summit, which kicked off Thursday in Brussels. He underlined that “now we can start with the implementation and build back our economies.”
“Europe moves forward!” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on her Twitter account, noting the recovery package will power the EU’s recovery and build a more resilient, green and digital bloc.
The EU’s recovery package, also the largest fiscal stimulus package ever that was set up in July, combined the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, or the so-called Multiannual Financial Framework worth nearly 1.1 trillion euros, and the recovery fund, named Next Generation EU, which was financed with a borrowing of 750 billion euros.
In addition to underpinning the EU’s recovery from the pandemic, the recovery package was also designed to help transform the EU through its major policies, particularly the European Green Deal, the digital revolution and resilience.
In November, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament reached a political agreement which ensures that the EU institutions cooperate even more effectively to make sure the package goes to where the needs are, in a timely and transparent manner.
The recovery package needs to be ratified by all member states before coming into effect. Poland and Hungary once blocked it as they opposed linking the access to the fund with the rule of law.