POLITICO Examines European Commission President Von Der Leyen’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan
POLITICO: The coronavirus recovery plan that von der Leyen built
“Ursula von der Leyen’s first public announcement of a massive response to the coronavirus crisis was made in a reflexive panic, on a Saturday night in late March, as she came under a barrage of criticism from Italy, where daily Covid-19 deaths were just hitting their peak. The European Commission president was already under severe pressure over the E.U.’s haphazard initial response to the health crisis — even though much of the blame lay with national capitals that reacted unilaterally, slamming borders shut and refusing even to come to Italy’s assistance when Rome initially requested help with protective gear. … If the E.U. leaders ultimately give their blessing, von der Leyen will get credit for leading the E.U. to a threshold moment. Some supporters of the plan view it as potentially a Hamiltonian leap forward in fiscal integration, akin to the establishment of U.S. federal debt. But if von der Leyen’s proposal becomes embroiled in lengthy disagreements, or if a version of her plan is approved but ends up badly managed, or minimally effective, she will be the one who will bear the responsibility…” (Herszenhorn et al., 7/16).