German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire on Monday pressed for a quick agreement among EU leaders on the size and payout details of the bloc’s recovery fund, aimed at helping countries worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s time to decide, we have everything on the table to support our economies and the quicker the better,” Le Maire said in a joint press conference in Berlin, according to Reuters. He added that strong economies in the single market is an advantage for all bloc members.
The two Ministers said they are confident a deal would be reached soon on EU’s recovery fund, and ideally next month, during EU leaders’ summit.
During the bilateral talks held in Berlin, Scholz and Le Maire stressed that the joint fund should pay out the proposed funds of at least €500 billion from 2020 until 2020 and not until 2024, as suggested by some member states.
The joint statement followed EU leaders’ virtual summit held on Friday, on the bloc’s long-term budget and the Commission’s proposed coronavirus recovery package, with the heads of state and government across the EU on Friday pledging to reach an agreement next month.
EU Council President Charles Michel said he will present a negotiating table in the coming days, in a bid to bridge the EU27’s major differences on the stimulus package, and will convene an in-person summit around mid-July. With Michel’s proposal as a basis, the heads of EU member states are expected to conclude on concrete measures.