The Commission's proposal for an EU recovery fund can rightly be considered radical.

According to the proposal, the EU would borrow EUR 750 billion from the debt market to the Union's peak and channel the funds in the form of free subsidies and semi-free loans to support the Member States most affected by the interest rate crisis.

It is therefore a question of money transfers financed by common debt, such as has never been seen before in the history of the Union.

But the most radical thing about the proposal is not the sums of money, but the way in which the Commission's model would change the nature of the Union - in many respects in the light of previously sacred principles.

The EU would be allowed and the means to increase its spending with such a large amount of debt financing that, alongside it, the Union's past debts would be negligible change. And it would be allowed to take on a kind of common debt that it has previously considered itself forbidden.

In turn, the management of stimulus funds would give the Commission an unprecedented amount of economic policy decision-making power, which has hitherto been at the heart of the sovereign decision-making power of the Member States.

And although the Commission is proposing a recovery fund only as a temporary and one-off crisis instrument to tackle the disadvantages of the interest rate crisis, it will be easier to make it permanent after the crisis than to dismantle it.

With corona dust landing, there is a long list of other and perhaps even larger monetary holes in the queue for climate, environmental, energy and transport upheavals, for which it is just as tempting to justify joint efforts in the past as it is now in the corona crisis.


 The Recovery Fund can be seen as a gift from heaven - or a devilishly cunning trap.

Indeed, a complex recovery fund is not “just” a big boost to economic recovery, but its key components would make the EU more clearly a common debt and common asset transfer union.

In practice, the Commission's model can be interpreted as changing the EU a big step towards a federal system.

As with previous EU crisis measures, this proposal contains so much technical detail, in addition to large sums of money, that it may be difficult to distinguish between it as a whole and its synergies.

Thus, it seems possible that a major shift in the EU towards federal activities and structures would result from the indirect effects of the Recovery Fund, without first discussing the change or even deciding it under the right names.

Therefore, even in Finland, it would be more important to have an open and critical discussion about the basic nature of the Union and its change, than just to hang on to the sums of money that have now come up.

The Recovery Fund can be seen as a gift from heaven - or a devilishly cunning trap.

The interpretation depends on the position of each of them, whether the EU should be developed into a community that works like a real federation - or whether it is more important to keep the national economic power and responsibility of the member states.

When forming a position, it must be possible to choose whether to adhere to previously concluded agreements and their principles, or to keep up with the change, even by turning previous agreements.

Either position can be justified.

One can, with good reason, see the current Union, with its structures and treaties, as a shaky intermediate stage - and want a stronger and more stable federal structure to replace it.

But one can point out with even better reason that such a big change should not be inadvertently slipped through the back door.

Not even under the pretext of a crisis.