As a good European federalist I was very much frustrated by some embarrassing aspects of the process leading to the EUCO decision of the beginning of the week. Now as a good European I have to be fair and enjoy the true positive aspects of the results.
Reasons for loud frustrations exist and dissatisfaction is always a healthy engine striving for continuous improvement:
– the too small role given to the European Parliament in the process is not the best omen for the future of our European democracy;
– the amount allocated to innovation and to the green transition had to be cut within the Multiannual Financial Framework;
– the rebates on their contributions to the EU budget which were given to the frugal states in order to get their approval were pretty scandalous;
– the proposed 500bn€ grants amount was reduced to 390bn€.
But yes nevertheless this agreement is historical and is more than welcome:
– finally the EU decided to wake up and act, the ECB is not alone anymore to fight the crisis. A big change awaited since 2008-12, the EU can now finally add a fiscal policy to the monetary policy pursued by the ECB.
– I hate the paralysis of the intergovernemental governance of our current Europe but I have to admit that this decision was relatively quickly reached. Macron and Merckel made their joint proposal on May 18th, the Commission made its proposal on May 29th, and the EUCO concluded on July 21th. Not so bad.
– this package create a new and useful balance between solidarity and fair moral hazard containment;
– the 750bn€ package to be spread over 3 years should generate larger multiplier effects;
– even if the conditionality aspect for getting the grants is relatively light, the need for structural reforms has not been forgotten. Recovery and resilience plans have to be submitted to the Commission and the EUCO decides on them and on their monitoring with a qualified majority.
– research for own resources for the EU (non-recycled plastic waste, carbon border adjustment mechanism, digital levy, etc) is finally a step in the right direction;
– all this create an extremely important precedent which we hope will be repeated and deepened until we create a true European Democracy.
Beyond the detail of this program Europe is also sending a very important message to the world. Between the crazy and chaotic American spiral and the ugly Chinese dictatorship there is still a route for Reason, Solidarity and Democracy and today this is the European Union which clearly shows the positive way in this dark world.