Friday

19th Aug 2022

Wariness over more shared EU borrowing

Listen to article

European finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (15 March) agreed to loosen state aid rules to allow member states to support companies disadvantaged by sanctions on Russia and high commodity prices.

They also called on all member states to increase investments in renewables in order to end dependency on Russian gas.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

But some EU members wanted more substantial support measures, including new forms of mutual debt issuance.

Opposition to joint European debt remains among more frugal northern EU member states.

"If you're a proponent [of mutual bonds], I wouldn't be too optimistic," a senior EU diplomat said ahead of the meeting on Tuesday.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said his country was, for the moment, emphasising that funds still are available in the pandemic recovery plan.

But Dutch finance minister Sigrid Kaag signalled a less frugal line than her immediate predecessor in government, and she did not close the door entirely to new mutualised debt.

"There are existing funds we can use," she said Tuesday. "But let's see what happens. The pandemic has shown us how important unity is."

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi last weekend called for a new version of the €800bn Covid-19 pandemic recovery fund that involves joint borrowing — and butted up against opposition.

"Some countries always find new arguments why they shouldn't pay their expenses," Magdalena Andersson, the Swedish prime minister said recently in a sign wariness at making Sweden responsible for other countries' debt.

Opinion

Catalonia's fiscal feud with Spain

It's not uncommon to hear accusations of Catalan financial greed as a motivation for independence. But in reality, the economic relationship between Spain and Catalonia is a nuanced one, which many Catalans believe is historically, and now, based on domination.

EU re-launches mammoth fiscal debates

The EU Commission has restarted its effort to rewrite European fiscal rules, but some countries, such as Italy, are off the charts on debt in terms of an existing pact.

Greek PM embroiled in spyware scandal

Greece has become embroiled in a wiretapping scandal that led to the resignation of its intelligence chief as well as the Greek prime minister's top aide.

News in Brief

  1. China joins Russian military exercises in Vostok
  2. Ukraine nuclear plant damage would be 'suicide', says UN chief
  3. Denmark to invest €5.5bn in new warships
  4. German economy stagnates, finance ministry says
  5. Syria received stolen grain, says Ukraine envoy
  6. Truss still leads in next UK PM polling
  7. UN chief meets Zelensky and Erdogan over grain exports
  8. Fighting stalls ahead of UN visit, Ukraine says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. European inflation hits 25-year high, driven by energy spike
  2. No breakthrough in EU-hosted Kosovo/Serbia talks
  3. Letter to the Editor: Rosatom responds on Zaporizhzhia
  4. Could the central Asian 'stan' states turn away from Moscow?
  5. Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting
  6. How scary is threat to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
  7. Slovakia's government stares into the abyss
  8. Finland restricts Russian tourist visas

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us