France on Friday said it was proposing an EU recovery fund that would inject 150-300 billion euros into the bloc’s budget every year until 2023, providing member states with grants to combat economic fallout of COVID-19.
According to a drafted text by Paris, the aim is to smooth the extraordinary costs of the once-in-a-lifetime crisis over the very long term.
The aim was also to contribute to the debate raging between EU member states on how best to finance the coronavirus recovery.
The response should focus on grants, Paris argues. These could be topped up by loans with a very long maturity and low interest rate.
French Finance Ministry sources acknowledge that countries including the Netherlands were staunchly opposed to a grants-based approach. However, the debate among EU capitals one recovery fund involve large divisions and the outstanding issues remain very controversial.