A researcher in her laboratory
27 March 2020

European summit: showing budgetary solidarity for the benefit of the European project

On 26 March 2020, the European Heads of State and Government held a third videoconference, particularly attended by the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Central Bank and the President of the Eurogroup. A statement was adopted at the end of the summit to support the measures implemented on the health front in recent weeks.

A range of new measures have been decided, including:
  • increasing the EU’s financial support for teams conducting research into vaccines,
  • coordinating an exit strategy by preparing the necessary health measures to recover from the crisis.
The debate focused on the next steps regarding economic support. Over and above the short-term support measures at national level and the relaxation of European rules, French President Emmanuel Macron underscored the need for European budgetary solidarity during and after the crisis. All options should be put on the table, from a joint debt capacity to an increase in the EU’s budget. No European country bears responsibility for this crisis and each one shall have to deal with it. Without solidarity in this crisis, the European project will be in grave danger.

This political debate must be open despite reluctance on the part of some countries. The 27 Member States have thus decided to set the ball rolling by asking the euro area finance ministers to submit different proposals to them within the next fortnight, ahead of an in-depth political debate on the subject between Heads of State and Government.

They have also mandated the Presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission to draft a European “post-crisis” recovery plan, drawing all of the lessons of it.