The European Union (EU) “frugal four” have recently opposed to the massive coronavirus recovery fund that would issue grants.
Last week, the French and German leaders proposed the deal to the European Commission and they are considering the plan. However, EU member states Austria, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands stated their opposition on Saturday.
Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden have come up with their own coronavirus economic recovery plan for the EU, rejecting a €500 billion proposal by France and Germany. https://t.co/oFG8hmAMo7
— DW News (@dwnews) May 23, 2020
Wealth distribution is unfair
In an Express UK article, other European nations were already voicing concerns over the French-German proposal. Poland was doubtful amid fears that poorer eastern states will be buried in debt to pay for their richer neighbors’ economic recoveries.
Sony Kapoor, a member of the Expert Networks on EU in the World Economic Forum, actually laid out a long Twitter thread where he finds this massive proposal not much of a game-changer.
Coming late to the story but I can’t be the ONLY one thinking the “Hamiltonian” “Game-Changing” [insert your superlative here] Franco-German #RecoveryFund proposal is in fact neither “a Hamilton moment” nor Game-Changing nor, in fact, even adequate … “Much Ado About Not Much”
— Sony Kapoor (@SonyKapoor) May 20, 2020
In the thread, he explains that it only offers an average increase in the ceiling of the European Commission budget for a limited period of time.
He also points out that countries such as Spain and Italy will most likely benefit from the proposal in support of the unfair distribution as mentioned by the other frugal nations.
Coronavirus pandemic divides the EU states further
This 500 billion euro proposal has been further dividing the EU nations. Last April, in an article from The Guardian, other experts have already voiced out their opinions that the majority of the European nations will have a hard time uniting and it looks like it’s turning into reality.
Enrico Letta, a former prime minister of Italy, has said that the EU faces a “deadly risk” from the coronavirus pandemic and the biggest danger for the EU in which he coined the term “the Trump virus” as he adds:
“We are facing a crisis that is different from previous crises […] The communitarian spirit of Europe is weaker today than 10 years ago.”
In addition, Nathalie Tocci, a former advisor to the EU foreign policy chief sees this situation as a make-it-or-break-it moment for the European project if the nations don’t unite.
She adds that if negotiations go badly in the long run, this will risk the end of the European Union as it fuels all the nationalist-populism.
This year, the EU has forecasted a 7.4% contraction which will bring the worst economic shock since the Great Depression.
It looks like it will take a miracle for this massive proposal to push through as it needs to be unanimously decided by all 27 EU nations as well as the European Parliament for it to pass. This will be further noted by the European Commission this week as they will talk about more fiscal programs that are coming up with a 1 trillion euro package in the works.
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