After EU leaders reached an agreement on the bloc's budget for the 2021-2027 period and an additional 750 billion Euros for the 'Next Generation EU' coronavirus recovery fund on Tuesday, Members of European Parliament convened for an extraordinary session on Thursday to debate the proposed budget and recovery fund.
Opening Thursday's session MEP's were addressed by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel. In his speech Michel reiterated that Brussels had responded quickly and strongly to the corona-crisis, noting that the 1.82 trillion Euros provided in the Multiannual Financial Framework and "Next Generation" recovery fund, surpasses the response mustered by both the United States and China, noting that the focus of these funds would be on: convergence, resilience and transformation.
Commission President von der Leyen expressed her regret that the final proposed budget and recovery fund were less than what was initially put forth by the commission and that funds for some programs were cut. She added however, that the agreement still represented a major step forward: “We assume responsibility for Europe's fate and for our children's future on our joint, broad shoulders. We are assuming this burden prepared, responsibly and with pride.”
After their speeches, MEPs announced that while they support the proposed budget and recovery fund in principle, they will be calling for certain amendments, which will first need to be harmonized in parliamentary committees before the fall session of parliament.