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“Our deal is the symbol of a strong and united Europe”: main results of the Special European Council

21/07/2020 - 16:43
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The Special European Council meeting took place on 17–21 July 2020. This was the first time that EU leaders met in person since the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe.

EU leaders agreed a recovery package and the 2021-2027 budget that will help the EU to rebuild after the pandemic and will support investment in the green and digital transitions.

“We have reached a deal on the recovery package and the European budget. These were, of course, difficult negotiations in very difficult times for all Europeans. A marathon which ended in success for all 27 Member States, but especially for the people. This is a good deal. This is a strong deal. And most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe, right now,” said President of the European Council Charles Michel at the press conference following the European Council.

“Europe as a whole has now a big chance to come out stronger from the crisis. Today, we have taken a historic step, we all can be proud of. But another important step remains ahead of us. First and foremost, we now have to work with the European Parliament to secure agreement,” added President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen speaking to press following the meeting.

EU leaders agreed to a comprehensive package of €1 824.3 billion that combines the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and an extraordinary recovery effort under the Next Generation EU (NGEU) instrument.

Long-term EU budget

The new MFF, the long-term EU budget for 2021–2027, amounting to €1 074.3 billion will be the main instrument for implementing the recovery package to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will cover the following spending areas:

  • single market, innovation and digital
  • cohesion, resilience and values
  • natural resources and the environment
  • migration and border management
  • security and defence
  • neighbourhood and the world
  • European public administration

Recovery fund

The recovery fund, through the Next Generation EU instrument will provide the Union with the necessary means to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the agreement, the Commission will be able to borrow up to €750 billion on the markets. These funds may be used for back-to-back loans and for expenditure channelled through the MFF programmes. Capital raised on the financial markets will be repaid by 2058.

The amounts available under NGEU will be allocated to seven individual programmes:

  • Recovery and Resilience Facility (RFF)
  • ReactEU
  • Horizon Europe
  • InvestEU
  • Rural Development
  • Just Transition Fund
  • RescEU

Thirty percent of the total expenditure from the MFF and Next Generation EU will target climate-related projects. Expenses under the MFF and Next Generation EU will comply with the EU’s objective of climate neutrality by 2050, the EU’s 2030 climate targets and the Paris Agreement. 

More information:

Special European Council, 17-21 July 2020

Opening remarks by President von der Leyen at the press conference following the Special European Council meeting