The European Commission will propose changes to its blueprint for the EU’s 2021-2027 budget to address the coronavirus crisis, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Saturday night.
“To ensure recovery the Commission will propose changes in the MFF [Multiannual Financial Framework] proposal that will allow to address the fallout of the coronavirus crisis,” von der Leyen said. “This will include a stimulus package that will ensure that cohesion within the Union is maintained through solidarity and responsibility.”
During Thursday’s EU Council summit, held over video conference due to the pandemic, European leaders did not reach an agreement on the bloc’s response to the unprecedented health crisis. Europe and the rest of the world are expected to enter recession later this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, POLITICO highlights how EU countries are reverting to a familiar mantra in times of crisis: Buy local! Some countries have betrayed a shaky sense of European solidarity in the early days of the coronavirus crisis, and a half-hearted commitment to the internal market. Borders have shut, countries have been reluctant to export medical equipment and northern countries have shot down the idea of a pan-European debt instrument dubbed “corona bonds.”
On the 27th, the European Central Bank has ordered eurozone banks to freeze dividend payments and share buybacks this year in an escalation of its efforts to avoid coronavirus triggering a credit crunch in Europe. The move is expected to result in many of the region’s largest banks either cancelling or delaying plans to return billions of euros of excess capital to investors. The ECB said banks “should not pay dividends for the financial years 2019 and 2020 until at least 1 October 2020”. It added that they should “refrain from share buybacks aimed at remunerating shareholders”.
CDENEWS via POLITICO / Euronews / FT