Published On: Fri, Jun 19th, 2020

Ursula von der Leyen red-faced as EU summit ends with NO deal | World | News

They failed to rally behind a €750 billion proposal put forward by Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president, at a crunch video conference. After over four hours of bitter wrangling, the EU27 decided to walk away from the talks and try again in a month. Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen announced that leaders would likely be able to hold a face-to-face summit for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak.

He said: “It is the expectation that we will meet physically in around one month’s time.”

Speaking after the summit, European Council President Charles Michel urged leaders to find an agreement “as soon as possible”.

“We’re aware it’s essential to take a decision as soon as possible,” he told reporters.

Mr Michel suggested the bloc was moving towards a “consensus” and signalled the start of proper negotiations over the recovery fund.

Mrs von der Leyen said it was crucial for the EU to make progress on the bailout and the next long-term budget.

The German said: “We are now also six months away from the end of the current MFF and in the midst of the deepest economic crisis provoked by COVID-19.

“It is therefore essential that we lose no time in setting our economic and social recovery on a firm footing.”

Under Mrs von der Leyen’s plan, eurocrats would borrow €500 billion on international markets before distributing the money as cash grants to the worst-hit countries, regions and industries.

A further €250 billion will be dished out in the form of low-cost loans.

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Mrs von der Leyen said: “The first discussion was in my view very positive.

“Leaders unanimously agreed that the severity of this crisis justifies an ambitious common response.”

She added: “Of course the discussions also showed differences of opinion on various issues, for example the overall size of Next Generation EU, the balance between grants and loans and on the allocation key.”

Mr Michel said he would discuss several contentious areas where member states showed signs of disagreements.

He vowed to work with capitals to overcome opposition to areas such as a demand for political conditions to be attached to any grants.

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