European Commission Proposes $825B Coronavirus Recovery Package, Including Additional $18.2B In Foreign Aid

Devex: After COVID-19, European Commission pushes for more foreign aid
“The European Commission on Wednesday proposed an additional €16.5 billion ($18.2 billion) for the European Union’s foreign spending as part of its COVID-19 recovery package, sparking relief among NGOs that had feared further cuts. The proposal, which must still be approved by E.U. states, would allocate €86 billion to the bloc’s main development instrument for 2021-2027, up 8.6% form the commission’s first outline in 2018. The increase is even greater when compared with the latest numbers proposed at a meeting of heads of state in February, where the instrument was down to €75.5 billion. The additional resources would be mostly drawn from a €750 billion recovery fund, also announced Wednesday, to be raised by borrowing on financial markets…” (Chadwick, 5/28).

Washington Post: E.U. proposes $825 billion coronavirus rescue plan giving Brussels power to raise money for first time
“European Union leaders on Wednesday proposed an $825 billion coronavirus rescue plan that would give Brussels major new tax and spending powers of the sort held by a federal state. Proponents are calling it Europe’s ‘Hamiltonian moment,’ after the 1790 agreement, engineered by Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, that transformed the United States from a loose confederation of former colonies into a true federation with a central government. If approved, the E.U. plan could bind the bloc together at a moment when it seemed at risk of spinning apart under the pressure of the novel coronavirus pandemic. If the plan fails — either to win support or to deliver benefits — euroskeptic politicians could be emboldened, both in rich nations such as Germany and struggling ones such as Italy…” (Birnbaum et al., 5/27).

Additional coverage of the E.C. spending proposal is available from New York Times, NPR, and Wall Street Journal.