Simson: Commission's €750 billion recovery plan good for Europe, Estonia
The European Union's Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson has described the Commissions proposal for a €750 billion recovery plan as good for both Europe and Estonia.
European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed a €750 billion post-virus recovery fund for Europe and urged skeptical member states to back it.
Simson, the Estonian member of the European Commission, said in a press release that the recovery plan is extensive enough to provide a real impetus for the economy and specific enough to move towards a greener, more digital and more resilient economy.
She explained that for Estonia the package put forward by the Commission means an addition of €3.3 billion euros to the EU budget proposals, which is more than half the amount that Estonia could use during the entire ongoing budgetary period of 2013-2020.
"Aid for Estonia by the Just Transition Fund that is of utmost importance for Ida-Viru County will more than quadruple, from €125 million to €552 million; additional funds to be channeled to cross-border transport projects are good news for the Rail Baltic project," Simson said.
The commissioner said that the biggest amount of money will go to member states in support of necessary investments and reforms as part of the recovery and resilience tool, the priority of which is transition to a green and digital economy.
"The Commission's proposal gives the member states great freedom to direct money to the most appropriate place themselves, hence the successful use of the package is largely in Estonia's own hands," Simson added
AFP new agency said that, officially called "EU Next Generation," the plan comes following pressure from Italy and Spain, Europe's first victims of the outbreak that are too burdened with debts to rebuild their economies alone.
If member states accept the deal as drafted, Italy would receive €81.8 billion in direct aid over the next few years, and €77.3 billion would go to Spain.
In all the EU would offer grants of €405 billion.
In addition, the countries would get loans, with Italy receiving credits for up to €90 billion and Spain €31 billion.
In total, the EU would disburse €405 billion in aid, of which €28.8 billion would go to Germany and €38.7 billion to France.
The commission made its landmark proposal just days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed a plan to allow the EU's executive to borrow 500 billion euros on markets to fund it.
The fund will be linked to the EU's long term budget for 2021 to 2027 and both must be adopted unanimously by the 27 member states and ratified by MEPs.
The commission now faces a counter-proposal from the so-called Frugal Four - the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Austria - who have traditionally opposed using the EU budget to redistribute funds to the indebted south, AFP said.
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Editor: Helen Wright