Alfred Sant questions who will benefit from EU coronavirus recovery plan

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Labour MEP Alfred Sant has welcomed the objectives of the EU Recovery package aimed at relaunching the European economy post- COVID-19 but has questioned who exactly will benefit from the allocated funds.

To protect lives and livelihoods, repair the Single Market, as well as to build a lasting recovery, the European Commission has proposed a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU of €750 billion as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 that will bring the total financial firepower of the EU budget to €1.85 trillion.

Alfred Santnoted that the proposal that a large percentage of the funding will be in grants is positive. Its integration into the Multiannual Financial Framework also makes sense.

Next Generation EU will raise money by temporarily lifting the own resources ceiling to 2% of EU Gross National Income, allowing the Commission to use its strong credit rating to borrow €750 billion on the financial markets. Still the question remains: Will the proposed rise of the GNI Own Resources ceiling be enough to cover the envisaged requirements? Some economic forecasts seem to make this quite doubtful.

Then more crudely: Who will exactly benefit from the envisaged recovery plan? Will the multiple goals that are inbuilt into its proposed design skew benefits towards particular regions or sectors, at the expense of others?

“For instance, in response to Green Deal exigencies, significant resources will apply to the promotion of clean energy applications, like the creation of a million charging stations for electric cars. Naturally, producers of the latter, mainly located in two member states, will benefit most from this”, stated Alfred Sant.