German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron's proposal for a € 500 billion EU recovery fund will not materialize as it is, Finance Minister Katri Kulmuni (center) writes on Facebook.
According to Kulmun, Finland will take an official position on the matter when it receives a clear and concrete proposal from the European Commission. There is no such thing yet.
Merkel and Macron proposed creating a recovery fund on Monday. The fund would be used to support the regions and sectors most affected by the coronavirus crisis.
According to the proposal, the fund, which will be linked to the EU budget, would be fixed-term and would be financed by a loan from the market on behalf of the European Commission. The funds would be distributed as grants through EU budget programs.
According to Kulmun, little more than the magnitude of the duo's proposal is yet known.
- It is clear that Merkel and Macron's performance will not go through as such. The proposal would significantly deepen solidarity. It would also be a big matter of principle to give grants instead of a loan, Kulmuni writes.
Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel held a joint remote briefing on Monday.
Photo: Kay Nietfeld / POOL New / Reuters
According to the Minister, Finland is committed to promoting the stability of the euro area, which is also an advantage for the export-driven Finnish economy. However, the responsibility for economic policy must continue to lie with each Member State.
- We are a co-operative member of the European Union, but even in exceptional circumstances, the countries' own responsibility for conducting their economic policies should not be abolished and solidarity should not be increased.
The recovery fund to be set up in connection with the EU budget was already discussed at a video meeting of EU leaders at the end of April, but at that time the size and other details of the fund remained completely open.
The ball is now in the Commission's possession, as it is preparing an updated draft budget, which would also include a recovery fund. The Commission will publish its proposal next week.
Minister for European Affairs and Corporate Governance Tytti Tuppurainen (sd) wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that Finland's position on the recovery fund is constructive and transparent.
- We are ready to look at different options. The best possible tool is needed for Europe's recovery. The actual negotiations will take place on the basis of the Commission's forthcoming proposal and the government will take a position on it, Tuppurainen tweeted.