• The European Union, and not its Member States, for the first time in its history, will borrow in international markets in order to be able to finance, through a large investment program, the Member States affected by the pandemic, especially those that have suffered the worst impact.
  • The entire – particularly long – duration of the European Council has been spent repelling attempts by some Member States to reduce the scope of what had already been decided.
  • The conflict over governance was not just between Italy (and the other countries of the South) and the Netherlands (and its allies). The European institutions have put all their weight in favor of the supranational proposal. In the end, the only benefit of the so-called “frugal countries” was the provision of a “power to delay”.
  • The most ambiguous outcome of the debates ambiguity refers to the rule of law. The decision clearly states that a regime of conditionality will be introduced, but a qualified majority of Member States for final approval is required.
  • The total budget for the seven years of both components was only slightly reduced, but the grant budget was reduced by 8.5% or €136 bn, mainly in the programs for health, research and private investment.
  • In terms of “own resources”, commitments, albeit not always very specific, were made in relation to five different sources of revenue.
  • Of all the decisions, the one that is not based on any principle and merely reflects a bargaining logic that prevailed in the European Council (especially in its last hours) concerns the increase of lump sum corrections to some Member States’ annual contributions.

You may find the Policy brief by Achilleas Mitsos, Special Adviser, ELIAMEP,  Former Director General European Commission here (in Greek).