European Council President Charles Michel has given a revised plan for the European Union’s (EU) proposed economic recovery fund to break a deadlock between the bloc’s 27 leaders on the second day of a summit in Brussels, according to a document, diplomats, and officials EU divided.
The EU leaders are meeting on Saturday for further talks over a 750 billion euros ($858bn) stimulus plan to breathe life into economies ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic after a meeting that ran late into Friday evening ended without a deal.
To assuage concerns by the northern camp of thrifty EU countries led by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, the share of free grants in the proposed recovery fund would be reduced to 450 billion euros from 500 billion euros.
This, along with plans for an “emergency brake” on the disbursement of funds, would appease wealthy northern states who want conditions attached to grants and would prefer to see those countries worst affected by the coronavirus crisis take loans.
The proposal would also increase rebates on the core EU budget for Austria, Denmark and Sweden.
The leaders spent Friday discussing a proposal put forward by Michel that outlined the $858bn recovery fund and a 1 trillion euros ($1.14 trillion) long-term budget for 2021-27. Read here