Negotiations of EU leaders at the Brussels Summit over the Recovery Fund are likely to continue for a fourth day into Monday, as differences between member countries have not yet been overcome, despite pressure from both sides.
The expectation is that the new proposal that the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, will present at the leaders’ dinner, will record the many meetings that have taken place during the day on a bilateral and multilateral level. However, the fact that the leaders do not want to refer the issue to the end of July shows a willingness to reach an agreement, but the complex puzzle has not yet been resolved.
There is a convergence in the amount of grants, although there is still a difference between the 350 billion euros requested by the “frugal” states of the north and the limit of 400 billion euros of the southerners supported by Germany and France.
Disagreement still remains over how decisions will be made, as the Dutch insist on unanimity on disbursements, while southern countries reject this method. At the same time, there is the issue of linking funding with the rule of law to the Visegrad countries, with the Netherlands especially taking a hostile stance towards Hungary.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis initially met with Angela Merkel, Emanuel Macron, Giuseppe Conte and Pedro Sanchez of Spain, a meeting also attended by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and Portuguese PM Morto Costa.
Later, Mr. Mitsotakis, together with his counterparts from Spain, Pedro Sanchez, Italy, Giuseppe Conte, and Portugal, Antonio Costa, had a meeting with the leaders of the “frugal” countries, namely the Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, as well as Finland, which seems to be the fifth member of the “frugal”.