EP president urges EU leaders to find consensus on recovery plan

Tuesday, 2020-07-21 10:30:51
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Police are on duty at the European Quarter in Brussels, Belgium, July 19, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
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European Parliament (EP) President David Sassoli on July 20 urged the European Union (EU) leaders to reach an agreement on a post-coronavirus recovery plan, warning that the EP will not give its consent unless its conditions are met.

"We are worried about a future where European solidarity and the Community method are lost. The European Parliament has set out its priorities and it expects them to be met," Sassoli said in a statement.

"If these conditions are not sufficiently met, the European Parliament will not give its consent," he added, emphasizing that "more than ever it is necessary to act quickly and courageously."

The statement was issued as EU leaders entered their fourth day of negotiations on the new long-term budget and a recovery fund linked to it. The European Commission has proposed, for the first time, to borrow up to EUR750 billion (US$858 billion) on the financial markets as part of a new recovery tool.

Sassoli said the multiannual financial framework, amounting to over 1 trillion euros, must be able to address the main challenges facing Europe in the medium term, such as the green deal, digitalization, economic resilience, and the fight against inequalities.

He said Europe also needed its own resources as well as measures to ensure the effective defense of the rule of law.

Sassoli reiterated the EP's call for an end of rebates that some member states receive, which he had described as "unfair and difficult to justify."

The EU leaders are discussing a proposal by European Council President Charles Michel, who said earlier this month that countries with long-held rebates on their European contributions would continue to get them. These countries include Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden.