“By indebting themselves together for thirty years, the EU member states are also showing their will to stay together”


Virginie Malingre: The deal is based on a € 750 billion stimulus package, borrowed from the markets on behalf of the Twenty-Seven, and intended to help countries worst affected by the coronavirus crisis. This common debt will first of all be a tool of solidarity, which will take Europe a new step towards a Union of transfers. Indeed, of the 750 billion euros allocated to the stimulus plan, 360 billion will be loaned to member states that so wish – they will find a way to get into debt on better terms than by going to the markets alone, but they will have to repay these sums – and 390 billion will be transferred to them by 2023, in the form of subsidies which will be repaid by the Twenty-Seven.

It’s hard to say which side won. I think Europe is the winner. In reality, France and Germany made a lot of compromises to save their plan, which was not opposed; in fact, not many countries. There were the “frugal” – the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Denmark – and their Finnish ally, viscerally opposed to this plan which, because it is a federal and integration instrument, profoundly changes the model of construction. European. They therefore paid hard for their rallying and in particular obtained a reduction in the amount of subsidies (from 500 billion to 390 billion) and an increase in the discounts they benefit from on the European budget. In the east, Poland and Hungary were not hostile to the recovery plan but did not want it to be an opportunity to establish a link between respect for the rule of law and the disbursement of European funds. . Even if a mechanism has been put in place with this in mind, it is still very vague and ineffective, so it can be said that they have won their case.

In addition, to access the manna from the Just Transition Fund, which helps the most carbon-intensive economies in their climate transition, Poland should have undertaken to pursue the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050, an objective that ‘was given by the EU during a summit in December 2019 and to which, at the time, it refused to subscribe. This is no longer in question, and the government of Mateusz Morawiecki will be able to have access to this money, if it does not call into question the principle according to which the European Union, as a whole, wants to respect the Paris climate agreement.