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EU summit deal: what has been agreed and why was it so difficult?

EU leaders have agreed a financial recovery plan after four days of intense negotiations
Βy Jennifer Rankin in Brussels

What has been agreed?
After four days and nights of hard-fought negotiations, EU leaders have agreed a €1.8tn (£1.6tn) financial package, comprising a €750bn recovery plan intended to haul the bloc out of the worst recession in its history, as well as a €1.074tn budget for 2021-27.

What is new about the deal?
To fund the €750bn recovery plan, the European commission will borrow on financial markets on an unprecedented scale, marking a step towards deeper integration hailed as historic. To repay investors, EU member states have agreed to create new common taxes, including a plastics levy that will be introduced in 2021. The commission, which drafts EU law, has been asked to propose a levy on polluting imports from non-EU countries, as well as a digital tax. But agreeing these taxes will not be easy, so there is no certainty about how the EU will repay its debts.


EU leaders seal deal on spending and €750bn Covid-19 recovery plans

Euro rises as heads of state finally thrash out agreement on day five

EU leaders have reached a historic agreement on a €750bn coronavirus pandemic recovery fund and their long-term spending plans following days of acrimonious debate at the bloc’s longest summit in nearly two decades.

As the meeting reached its fifth day, the 27 exhausted heads of state and government finally gave their seal of approval to a plan for the EU to jointly borrow debt to be disbursed through grants on an unprecedented scale, in the face of an economic downturn not seen since the Great Depression.

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The end of the tortuous process was announced by the European council president, Charles Michel, who had been chairing the leaders’ long debates, with a single word on Twitter: “Deal!”