What should the European Economic Fund look like? The issue will be the focus of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s working lunch with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday night. Germany has been President of the EU since this month.
A summit of European leaders on the EU fund and the multiannual budget is scheduled for the end of next week in Brussels. Beforehand, Merkel will speak to a number of heads of state and government.
The European Commission has proposed a €750 billion fund to help countries overcome the Corona crisis. Two-thirds must consist of donations or grants. The Netherlands wants it to be made up of loans, but seems willing to compromise in this area.
The Netherlands has two main requirements for the upcoming summit, Rutte said last week. The rebate on the Dutch payment to the EU should remain in place, and countries receiving money from the Recovery Fund must carry out reforms. These are mainly southern Member States that need to change their labour market and pension systems, for example.
Rutte is not in a hurry to reach a compromise on the fund. There is a lot of time left, he says. On the contrary, the German Government and the European Commission want a solution quickly, because the Member States are economically hard hit by the virus.