ZAGREB, July 20, 2020 – EU member states are getting closer to a deal on the next seven-year budget and the coronavirus recovery plan, after three days of tough negotiations and numerous compromises, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told reporters outside the government offices in Zagreb on Monday.
“After tough negotiations and numerous compromises, in my estimate, we are nevertheless slowly moving towards an agreement,” Plenkovic said.
EU leaders have been unable to agree on the number of grants in the proposed plan for the economic recovery of the EU hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to diplomatic sources, five “frugal” countries led by the Netherlands are insisting on €350 million in grants and as much in loans. The other member states are against the amount of grants being reduced below €400 billion.
“Their initial logic was that everything should go through loans. The logic of the other 22 member states and the European Commission is that the Union exists to demonstrate solidarity as well,” Plenkovic said.
The 27 member states continue negotiations in Brussels on Monday afternoon for the fourth day in a row.