European Commission Launches Recovery Plan and Revised Work Programme

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has put forward the Commission’s proposal for a major recovery plan that builds on progress that has already been made in the European Parliament and European Council.

The Commission is proposing to create a new recovery instrument, ‘Next Generation EU’, embedded within a revamped long-term EU budget. Next Generation EU will have a budget of €750 billion as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027, bringing the total financial scope of the EU budget to €1.85 trillion. It will be funded by temporarily lifting the Commission’s own resources ceiling to 2% of EU Gross National Income, allowing it to use its strong credit rating to borrow €750 billion on the financial markets. This additional funding will be channelled through EU programmes and repaid over a long period of time throughout future EU budgets – not before 2028 and not after 2058.

The Commission has also presented its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, which will prioritise the actions needed to propel Europe’s recovery and resilience. In order to make funds available as soon as possible to respond to the most pressing needs, the Commission proposes to amend the current multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 to make an additional €11.5 billion in funding available already in 2020.

Key points from the new proposal include:

A new standalone €9.4 billion health programme for prevention, crisis preparedness, the procurement of vital medicines and equipment, as well as improving long-term health outcomes.

A revised budget of €94.4 billion for Horizon Europe, which will be reinforced to fund vital research in health, resilience and the green and digital transitions.

The European Commission has invited the European Council and the co-legislators to examine these proposals rapidly with a view to reaching a political agreement at the level of the European Council by July. In the event of an agreement, the Commission would work with the European Parliament and the Council to finalise an agreement on the future framework and the accompanying sectoral programmes. Completing this work in early autumn would mean that the new long-term budget could be implemented by 1 January 2021.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: ‘The recovery plan turns the immense challenge we face into an opportunity, not only by supporting the recovery but also by investing in our future: the European Green Deal and digitalisation will boost jobs and growth, the resilience of our societies and the health of our environment. This is Europe’s moment. Our willingness to act must live up to the challenges we are all facing. With Next Generation EU we are providing an ambitious answer.’

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