The president of the European Commission has called for a €1tn (£871bn, $1.08tn) “new Marshall plan” to revive European economies when they start to get a grip on the coronavirus
The European Union published its “joint European roadmap” for lifting COVID-19 containment measures on Wednesday. It has called for member states to co-ordinate plans for easing restrictions, with fears lifting lockdowns too early and countries’ divergent approaches could undermine global efforts to tackle to virus.
Documents published by the commission, the bloc’s executive body, also highlight recovery planning and the “need to get back on a path of sustainable growth” whenever the crisis starts to ease.
With European economies facing one of the deepest recessions in decades, the commission said it would draw up its own long-term recovery plan. It will be based on revamped proposals for its next multi-year budget settlement, with funds expected to frontloaded.
It comes on top of governments’ and the European Central Bank’s enormous temporary fiscal and monetary stimulus measures announced so far.
President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “Europe needs a new Marshall Plan. We will need massive public and private investments to rebuild the economy and create new jobs. The key to this is a new, powerful EU budget.”
The Marshall Plan was a huge financial support package the US provided to Western Europe in the 1940s, helping the continent rebound after the devastation of the Second World War.
Speaking to journalists, she added: "A European budget that with all its might is able to leverage the necessary money for a huge investment initiative ... in order to really restart the economic process.
“We're not talking about a billion (euros), we're talking about a trillion, looking at the investment initiative that has to be done,” she said, according to Reuters.
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