By Philipp Grüll
Jul 22, 2020
German business associations are cheering the deal EU leaders reached at a marathon summit that ended on Tuesday morning (21 July), and they have every reason to do so, explains economic researcher Jürgen Matthes. But some observers are displeased with cuts in funding for innovation, research or defence. EURACTIV Germany reports.
“We have reached a good conclusion after a very long session, and I am very happy about that,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told a press conference on Tuesday morning, summing up her usual sober feelings about the outcome of the EU summit.
Others, such as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, called the result “historic.” The Council adopted both the EU budget (“Multiannual Financial Framework” or MFF) and the recovery fund (“NextGenerationEU” or NGEU), totalling €1.8 trillion.
To fund the NGEU, the Commission was empowered to raise common European debt on an unprecedented scale.
Associations: Pleased initial reactions
This is good news for the German economy, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“I am convinced that with the implementation of this programme we will experience a sustained upswing in 2021 and 2022,” he said. German growth is expected to pick up again from October.
The first press releases from German industry sounded similarly pleased. “The agreed grants of €390 billion will significantly advance the economic reconstruction on our continent through jointly financed measures,” said a delighted Joachim Lang, director-general of the Federation of German Industries (BDI).
Eric Schweitzer, president of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) also welcomed the funding because “the strengthening of the internal market and the economic recovery in the member states are key prerequisites for the German economy to overcome the crisis.”