ZAGREB, July 17, 2020 – The negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2017 and the recovery package are politically most important for the development of the EU in the next seven years and require a high level of political maturity, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Brussels on Friday.
“We will advocate Croatia’s interest and seek possibilities of funding our national programme for recovery, including projects that will make sure that Croatia has a balanced regional development. the development of agriculture and also investments in the digital and green economy and all other things in connection with the future and catching up with the 4.0 industrial revolution,” Plenkovic said just before the start of the first face-to-face summit meeting in Brussels after several months of virtual conferences due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 10 July, European Council President Charles Michel presented his new proposal for the long-term EU budget and the recovery package, the so-called negobox.
This proposal serves as a basis for the leaders’ discussions at the ongoing Special European Council.
President Michel has proposed €1 074 billion to fulfill the long-term objectives of the EU and to preserve the full capacity of the recovery plan. This proposal is largely based on the February proposal, which reflected two years of discussions between member states. As for the size of the recovery fund, the Commission would be empowered to borrow up to €750 billion through an own-resource decision. Of that amount, 500 billion would be in the form of non-repayable grants and 250 billion as loans.
“A deal is essential. Now is the time,” says Michel in his invitation letter for the special summit.
The Croatian premiere is hopeful that all leaders of the EU bloc’s member-states will show a high level of political maturity “so that we can send a key message to all our citizens, to all members of the EU.”