European Parliament wants to weight in EU COVID recovery fund decision

In July, the European Council reached an agreement on the EU’s future long-term budget (MFF) for 2021-2027, as well as a recovery package to help EUMS recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and support investments in the green and digital transitions. But the European Parliament is fighting to have its say on how the money is spend.

The overall size of the package (€1.82 trillion) combines the MFF and the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument. The long-term objectives of the EU’s long-term budget have not changed, but key policy areas and programmes of the Union will face significant changes.

Member States agreed the European Commission would have the primary say over distributing aid, but Member States could pause payouts to ensure that applicants follow through on pledges to make their economies greener and more digital.

However, the European Parliament demands a say over how the money is spend, which risk compromise the delicate balance found by Member States after 5 days of intense negotiation in July. In particular, the four biggest political group of the European Parliament have expressed that they would not sign off on the budget unless it links EU fund attribution to the rule of law.