Progress at EU crisis summit – but stark divisions remain

Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, accused his Dutch counterpart of using the same methods as his country’s former communist leaders on Sunday, as EU leaders publicly clashed during tense and acrimonious negotiations over the terms of a proposed €1.8tn budget and recovery package for the bloc.

A third difficult day of a summit of the EU’s 27 heads of state and government – the first in person for five months – saw movement towards agreement as talks stretched deep into the night, but laid bare the deep splits between north and south, and east and west.

The leaders have been in intense debates over the size of the recovery fund for countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic and the EU’s seven-year budget, known as the multi-financial framework, which is due to start next year.

There are also stark differences over the nature of the conditions attached to the emergency funding and the balance between grants and loans on offer. The money will be borrowed from the capital markets by the European commission.

Source: The Guardian (2020)

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