European Council: €1.8 trillion budget and Covid-19 recovery package announced

There was a breakthrough in Brussels this morning as EU leaders signed off on a €1.8 trillion budget and Covid-19 recovery package.

After four days of negotiations, a deal was reached at 5:30am on Tuesday, July 21.

European Council President Charles Michel announced that the recovery package combines the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the Next Generation EU (NGEU).

Under the NGEU, €750 billion has been allocated to help reboot economic recovery in EU member states.

€390 billion from this package will be distributed in the form of grants to member states and €360 billion in loans.

The MFF package of €1 trillion will cover seven years, from 2021 to 2027.

‘These were, of course, difficult negotiations’

Speaking after the announcement, Charles Michel said: “We have reached a deal on the recovery package and the European budget.

These were, of course, difficult negotiations in very difficult times for all Europeans. It was a marathon which ended in success for all 27 member states, but especially for the people. This is a good deal. This is a strong deal. And, most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe, right now.

It was also announced that a €5 billion Brexit reserve will be established to support the member states and economic sectors hardest hit by Brexit, including Ireland.

Agriculture issues at the centre of negotiations

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council also met for the first time since January. In this meeting, ministers discussed in detail the Farm to Fork strategy, the green architecture of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package and the market situation in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.