Reaction to the recovery package deal by the European Council

Reaction to the recovery package deal by the European Council

7/21/2020, 7:43:09 PM
Statement from the Board of Volt Europa

Statement from the Board of Volt Europa

The finally agreed-upon Coronavirus recovery package is a massive victory in the sense that it happened.  At first glance, the fund is financed by European debt and the Commission would seem to be in the driving seat. Moreover, the EU finally has access to ‘own resources’ in the form of levies on carbon, plastic, and digital. That’s the biggest achievement and a tangible step towards European taxation rights.

However, this isn’t the sorely needed Hamiltonian Moment. National heads of state are still looming over the Union’s shoulder and The connection between recovery fund and the Rule of Law is diluted, and support for things such as the Just Transition Fund were binned alongside, bizarrely, EU4Health. Moreover, this process underlines how outlying frugals and parochial strongmen wield the threat to veto the entire deal. 

European citizens demand EU solidarity - they call for a union which takes its responsibility in tackling climate change and which is a pioneer of frontier research - all things that were cut back in this final package. The current system is simply not equipped to deal with the pressing issues of our day.

We must not lose heart, though, but instead keep up the pressure. While it is not the irrevocable fiscal federalisation we needed, it represents the first step in that direction. We must make sure that that does not stop here, because while this package for example doesn't empower a European finance minister, it sets the stage for a future fiscal union.

“Whatever it takes” should never mean “what the nations allow.” And so, whilst a necessary step, the way this package came about underlines fundamental systemic shortcomings. The Union can be a force of good when key players align - and certainly this process displays the power of German-French alignment - but therein lies the issue: such separate national alignment should not be necessary. We are not the frugal four or the Visegrád countries or the Franco-German alliance. We are one europe for all European citizens, the progress of whom must be safeguarded for future generations.

As such, this makes an indisputable case for a European constitution. That European Constitution must be created to unite all European citizens within one federal state. Under this Constitution, the citizens must be represented by a European Government, accountable to the European parliament representing the entire European electorate.

If Europe does not federalise, we will remain as vulnerable to the next crisis, as we have clearly been to the one tackled by this package.