The Lisbon council

On the eve of the first “in-person” European Council since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, there remain continued divisions on the key issues concerning the main item on the leaders’ agenda: the launch of a pandemic recovery fund known more formally as the Next Generation European Union Plan.

1 Agreement does not appear beyond reach on its size (around €750 billion); the related envelope of the multiannual financial framework (reduced to €1.07 trillion); the breakdown between grants and loans (respectively, €500 billion and €250 billion); and lump-sum rebates for some countries.

2 Deep divisions persist however on the degree of any conditionality and, most acutely and importantly, on the recovery fund’s governance arrangements.

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