• The positions stiffen, Recovery Plan blocked
  • European Council. Divergences on funds. Conte wants an adequate answer. Merkel: "Difficult agreement"


18 July 2020 The summit restricted to seven has begun , preceding the second day of work of the European Council. At the table sit German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. With them the President of the EU Council Charles Michel and the President of the Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen. The narrow summit serves to try to bring positions closer in view of the resumption of negotiations.

Recovery fund cut in the subsidies part (from 500 to 450), higher 'rebates', modified distribution key (60% of the funds distributed on the basis of GDP and unemployment in the last 5 years, and 40% on the basis of the decrease in growth only of the last year), an emergency brake on governance, with the possibility for countries to block the disbursement of funds and request the intervention of the Council. This, according to what is learned, the new compromise proposal that the President of the European Council Charles Michel should present to the leaders. 

On the issue of verifying the national reform plans, to access the resources of the Recovery Fund with a unanimous vote in the Council, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte , in an interview at the end of the work tonight, clarified that for the moment "the the technical part remains open, because it is incredibly complicated, but it must be organized in the most stringent way possible ". The unanimous vote, he explains, "is one way to do it. But there are others too. The principle is that especially when it comes to subsidies, we need to know even more rigorously whether reforms are made. And this is my priority ".

Conte post photos with Merkel-Macron-Rutte
"Time to prepare for the plenary session here in Brussels. The negotiations continue". Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte writes it on Twitter, publishing a photo that portrays him in the hall of the European Council, intent on speaking with Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Ursula Von Der Leyen, Mark Rutte, Charles Michel, to try to unlock the negotiation on Recovery fund. 

Preparation for the plenary session here in Brussels. Negotiation continues. #EuCo pic.twitter.com/XehExAbzd9

- Giuseppe Conte (@GiuseppeConteIT) July 18, 2020