The long-awaited proposal for a recovery plan unveiled on May 27 by the European Commission is indeed the revolution announced by the Franco-German initiative of May 18. Called “Next Generation EU”, this new instrument breaks the taboo of Member States’ joint debt by proposing a joint loan of 750 billion euros to boost the economy and invest in the future. 750 billion to revive the economy and invest in the future. Of significant magnitude, only time will tell whether it is sufficient to mitigate the effects of a crisis whose economic consequences are still very uncertain. Will it speed up the EU’s ecological transition?
The need for a greener recovery geared towards meeting environmental targets and climate neutrality, a subject of intense debate since the beginning of the crisis, is at the heart of the European recovery plan announced this week. The acceleration of the Green Deal is presented as one of the two pillars that should guide the European economic recovery, alongside the digital transition. This stated priority is to be welcomed: it anchors the anticipations of the EU’s economic actors and sets a framework for economic recovery that is compatible with European environmental objectives, in particular the achievement of the climate neutrality objective for the continent that the EU is in the process of adopting as part of its first climate law under discussion, but also the proposed objectives of the “Biodiversity” and “From Farm to Fork” strategies. This priority also suggests that it is possible to avoid the mistakes of the past where economic stimulus packages have resulted in a rapid resumption of the rise in greenhouse gas emissions. This is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Indeed, if the course has been set and the stimulus money put on the table, it is the use of the funds that will tell whether the attempt at a greener recovery has been transformed.
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This blog first appeared on the IDDRI site.
Author: Nicolas Berghmans, IDDRI.
Image courtesy of Green Prophet via Flickr.
The views are those of the author and not necessarily those of ETTG.