Reacting to the adoption of the EU Recovery Plan by the European Council, ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini said:
“The adoption of the EU Recovery Plan is good news for the 60 million people across the EU who depend on rapid investment to save their jobs or avoid long term unemployment. The ETUC thanks Presidents Michel and von der Leyen, and the more forward-looking leaders, for their perseverance in reaching an agreement in the most difficult EU negotiations ever.
“The ETUC welcomes the decision to fund the recovery plan through Eurobonds to be guaranteed directly by the EU, so avoiding unsustainable additional debt for member states.
“The reduction of the amount of grants in the Recovery fund brings an unacceptable cut to the Just Transition Fund and to the health measures.
“Additionally, the overall EU budget is not big enough to deliver green and digital transformation and adequate resources for cohesion and social priorities.
“The insistence of the ‘frugal four’, better defined as ‘mean five’, to cut funds and introduce Council control over national recovery plans, potentially leading to old-fashion structural reforms, came together with their selfish interest to increase rebates and preserve tax havens, and giving up on the respect of the rule of law.
“We will stay vigilant to make sure that the national reform plans approval process and so-called ‘Emergency Brake’ are not used to impose further austerity and cuts, so playing into the hands of anti-European populists.
“Reform of EU governance and decision-making are now urgent, to stop an handful of anti-European governments from destroying the EU project, which makes the Conference on the Future of Europe even more crucial after this summit.