The debate on the parameters of the recovery of the European economy after the coronavirus outage awaits the European Commission today. The members of the EU executive will discuss the forthcoming draft of the next seven-year budget, to which the support fund required by the member states is to be connected. However, the commissioners will not decide on their specific form today; the chairwoman of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, wants to present it sometime by mid-May.
The German head of the EC said last week that the next budget could swell from the previously proposed 1.1 percent of the EU's gross national income to two percent in order to invest in the affected sectors. The Commission spoke in a private document ahead of a video conference of EU leaders last Thursday about more than two trillion euros spent on the crisis recovery. Individual commissioners are more cautious in their public estimates, talking about one to one and a half trillion. It intends to borrow part of this money, another should come from an increase in Member States' budget contributions.
The details of the plan remain unknown for the time being, and the individual commissioners do not have a completely identical opinion. While, for example, Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni and Thierry Breton in charge of the single market have expressed a willingness to consider issuing joint bonds in the same way as Italy, Spain or France, von der Leyen is reluctant in this regard. Germany, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries are refusing to share the debt, and the commission does not seem to intend to finance the debt recovery fund.
The EC will also discuss today how to promote tourism, which is one of the most affected sectors of the economy. Some countries in southern Europe are trying to persuade other EU members to at least partially relax travel rules before the summer season in order to reduce the abysmal losses of tourism businesses, which in some countries account for up to a fifth of gross domestic product.