Angela Merkel while making a speech in the German parliament described the implications of the deadly coronavirus pandemic and how fragile the European project is at the moment.
Members of the European Union have been confused about how the Brussels bloc will manage the huge financial burden which was created by the coronavirus outbreak. Angela Merkel says the virus pandemic that has swept through the bloc has laid bare the weaknesses of the EU.
While speaking on moving forward, she said Germany will use its available six-month presidency over the European Council, which will kick start on July 1, to work toward growing solidarity and the economy among the now 27 member states.
Still, at the German parliament speech, the Angela Merkel said the most pressing issue battling the bc reeling from more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths and going through its worst recession hit since World War 2 is to quickly agree on a multi-year budget and a recovery fund.
She also touched the rather national and not European initial response to the pandemic by European Union governments, including those from Germany.
“The pandemic has revealed how fragile the European project still is. Cohesion and solidarity have never been more important than today,” Ms Merkel said.
European Union leaders are expected on Friday to debate again the European Commission’s €750billion recovery plan mapped out to assist struggling EU economies fall back to normal from the financial impact of the pandemic.
The Union are also expected to mull over the €1.1trillion proposal for the next seven-year budget from 2021 to 2027, a plan that has caused much discontent in the EU and will require the approval of all the 27 remaining members.
Angela Merkel played down the possibility of making a breakthrough at the videoconference summit scheduled for this week instead, she expects a corporation from members on the huge spending plans at a physical meeting of EU leaders later this year.
“I will make the case that at the European Council we reach a decision about a multi-year financing deal and a recovery fund as quickly as possible,” she said.
So far, Spanish and Italian politicians have largely criticised the European Union reaction following the coronavirus outbreak seeing that the pandemic has swept across the continent, forcing countries to shut borders, as the EU27 nations embraced lockdown measures.
Until now, the Brussels bloc has refused to agree to the coronavirus recovery fund, and the approach they will follow to heal their economy after the crisis, Sweden, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands insist on a responsible spending approach as they work through the recovery funding.
This also means that there might not be a compromise on Friday when EU27 leaders hold crunch video meeting to discuss the planned €750 billion recovery budget.
Italian MEP Marco Zanni while speaking at the European parliament slammed the inefficiencies of the European Union” and launched into a scathing attack against Brussels’ most likely failed coronavirus recovery plan.
“We were told this week there would be a European Council meeting of which we already knew the conclusion. No agreement on the so-called recovery plan and probably a clash between member states.
“Well, this demonstrates the inefficiencies of the European institutions in providing a response to the crisis. The Commission made a proposal which was in itself highly inefficient.”
“Three-quarters of the money only coming in 2023. Three years after the crisis broke. When businesses and workers had already lost their jobs. This is why the decision-making process in the EU is not fit for purpose,” he said.