The EU leader is holding what has been called his first personal summit in five months to discuss plans for the $850 billion COVID-19 stimulus package.
The Union, which is unlikely to bridge the coronavirus economic rescue plan in Brussels, has entered a historic economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and its officials have drawn up plans for a $850 billion stimulus package to lead their member countries of blocking.
But the prime minister, Mark Rutte’s leading other determined groups of capitals in the north, is against handing out money to their southern neighbors minus stringent measures.
Further talks are expected this Friday, which will also run from Sunday to Saturday. Despite the tight schedule, few are confident of making a breakthrough here, so another peak may follow later this month.
Charles Michel, a host of the summit and President of the European Council, tried to create a sense of momentum after previous 19th-century video conferences only served to underline the differences between the leaders.
In a letter inviting the Heads of State or Government to Brussels, he wrote that finding an agreement requires hard work and political will from all sides and is now the time when the agreement is essential.
He added that they need to find a workable solution and reach an agreement for the greater benefit of their citizens.
However, optimism was less when the heads of state and government showed up in the Belgian capital and arrived a few hours before the summit to have private talks.
European diplomats said that the Netherlands would keep maintaining that Member States retain the right to veto EU joint borrowing to fund member loans.
And they want loans or grants to be subject to strict conditions to ensure that highly indebted countries like Spain and Italy implement reforms under the supervision of the European Commission.
The South opposed this. Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Michel, whose country has just taken over the rolling six-month EU presidency, will find it difficult to find a compromise.
On Wednesday, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said they were open to an agreement this weekend, but if there was no agreement, they would be open for further negotiations later.
The Netherlands has emerged as the most likely remnant, but Rutte’s position is supported to varying degrees by colleagues from the so-called “Frugal Four” – Austria, Denmark and Sweden.
Michel’s draft plan envisages a €750 billion ($850 billion) redevelopment package consisting of €250 billion loans and €500 billion ($570 billion) grants and subsidies that would not have to be repaid by the EU to recipient Member States.
The frugal reject grants and want loans to be conditional. This package complements the planned seven-year EU budget from 2021 to 2027 of EUR 1 trillion (USD 1.1 trillion), which the heads of state and government will also have to agree to in the coming weeks or months.
Lena Wood graduated from John Carroll University in the year 2002. She born and grown up in Dallas but later she moved to Cleveland for Studying. Lena has written for several major publications including Community Newspapers and News Desk. Lena is a community Reporter and also Covers National Topics.