Statement on the European Commission’s Next Generation EU Recovery Package

Overall Assessment:

  • As a representative of a pan-European movement, I welcome the initiatives presented by the Commission today that move the EU one step closer to a fiscal union.
  • I am happy that the Commission President proposes a significant Recovery Package, financed for the first time ever by issuing common European debt and pan-European ways to raise revenues with tools like an expanded ETS, plastic levy, and a digital tax.
  • By using common debt, new own resources and making spending proportional to the impact of the crisis, we may finally be able to break the juste retour logic of the EU budget and allow for investments to flow where they are most needed.
  • The green, digital, and resilience priorities address the right challenges, even though we would have expected a bigger overall size, closer to what the Parliament has called for in its resolution in April.
  • But a common European debt can only be successful in the long run, if we as Europeans can collectively decide where the borrowed money goes and have full control over how it is spent.

Recovery and Resilience Facility

  • As an MEP responsible for the Reform Support Programme, I therefore welcome that the Recovery and Resilience Facility took up the idea to provide funding along commonly decided priorities for reform and investment for up to EUR 560 billion.
  • However, the European Semester currently does not have the ability and legitimacy to set common priorities for this tool, as it deprives the EP of its right to budgetary oversight and remains unproven beyond a macro-economic reform agenda.
  • To be an effective tool in times of crisis, the Recovery and Resilience Facility must be based on Parliament co-decision and a reformed European Semester that is fit to coordinate EU policy options beyond its current narrow focus on economic policy.

Need for EU Reform

  • For now, we have ensured the EU’s ability to act. But we have not improved the EU’s troubles to arrive at common decisions and priorities quickly and when needed. As spokesperson of the Greens / EFA in the Constitutional Committee, I will fight for a European Union that can decide and act swiftly and democratically.