Macron delays eurobo debate and amid protests against saving – POLITICO

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Facing opposition from the frugal North, French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday kicked off the EU debate on issuing more European bonds.

The decision largely reflects the more pressing focus of EU leaders attending the informal summit in Versailles: How to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas after sanctions. Moscow for invading Ukraine.

That priority has left little time and interest in the two-day summit to discuss the controversial question of issuing more EU debt to fund strategic policy goals. common strategies such as strengthening defense and combating climate change, negotiating officials told POLITICO.

EU leaders reveal a declaration that frustrated Moscow’s war against Ukraine. The 10-page document also announced plans to strengthen the bloc’s defense capabilities, reduce dependence on foreign energy and develop a more resilient economy.

However, there is no mention of joint debt in the statement. The Netherlands and Germany are among the few Nordic countries that have pushed back on the issue. Their leaders remain in their position that capitals should use the tools they already have at their disposal, particularly the bloc’s 800 billion euro pandemic recovery fund and its long-term budget. EU.

But Macron refused to rule out in end of press conference prospect of future eurobond issues to finance strategic investments.

“The right strategy, as we have seen during the pandemic, is to agree on goals, and when we do that… the tools will follow,” Macron said. “Given that we have divisions and disagreements, if we start by studying the tools, overall things don’t work out and we waste time.”

In the coming weeks and months, the European Commission will calculate how much the EU will need to spend to strengthen its sovereignty in policy areas including energy, defence, food and industry. That will help lay the groundwork for future summits on how best to achieve those spending goals, Macron said.

Macron’s position received strong support from Italy. Prime Minister Mario Draghi is adamant that the national budget does not have the means to cover the trillions of euros needed to ramp up military spending and drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions within a decade. He told journalists after the meeting of leaders a compromise would be needed.

That’s where the EU recovery fund can play some role, for savers. No country except Italy has fully utilized the loans provided in the EU cash fund financed by common debt to cushion the impact of the pandemic on the economy.

“One of the things I’ve come up with… is: Make the most of the tools available,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, reiterating his opposition to copper bonds. new euro or joint debt issuance. “We can redirect or redirect and focus more on current issues.”

Giorgio Leali, Jacopo Barigazzi and Nette Nöstlinger contributed reporting.


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