After days of sometimes bitter debate, the bloc’s heads of government agreed on a €750 billion package aimed at funding post-pandemic relief efforts in the EU.
The recovery fund centres on a €390 billion programme of grants to economically weakened member states — a significantly smaller sum than the €500 billion package originally proposed by Berlin and Paris in May.
Leaders also signed off on the EU’s next seven-year budget, which will be worth €1.8 trillion.
“A historical time for Greece and Europe. We return with a 72 billion euro financial package. We have the tools, we have the plan, we will invest the financial package to transform Greece,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated.
Speaking to reporters, European Council president Charles Michel called it a “good deal”, stating that “Europe is solid.”
Meanwhile, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, underlined important concessions made in the search for a compromise, saying she regretted the cuts to “modern policies” in research and innovation.
Live | Συνέντευξη Τύπου μετά την ολοκλήρωση των εργασιών του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου στις Βρυξέλλες. https://t.co/KLooQOepNt
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) July 21, 2020
Un plan de relance massif est adopté : un emprunt commun pour répondre à la crise de manière solidaire et investir dans notre avenir. Nous ne l’avions jamais fait ! La France a porté sans relâche cette ambition. https://t.co/x3ltuf69Ca
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) July 21, 2020
Now the deal will have to pass the scrutiny of the European parliament, which will shortly convene a special plenary session.