European leaders have reached a breakthrough agreement on the EU’s budget and coronavirus recovery fund, sealing a 1.8 trillion euro package in the early hours of this morning.
French President Emmanuel Macron hailed the deal as a “historic day for Europe.” But the path to consensus was far from smooth taking four days and nights of wrangling over money and power. The richer so-called frugal states have been pushing for fewer handouts and more conditions on how the money will be spent including making a link between EU funds and democratic values. In the end, they’ve compromised on around 400 billion euros in grants and limited oversight over the rule of law. European Council President Charles Michel says it’s a big win for the union.
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