European Macroeconomics & Governance / allocation / coronavirus / COVID-19 / EU budget / recovery fund

EU recovery plans should fund the COVID-19 battles to come; not be used to nurse old wounds

Posted On: Jul 6, 2020   |   Posted By: Bruegel

EU recovery plans should fund the COVID-19 battles to come; not be used to nurse old wounds

EU countries are engaged in difficult negotiations over how to allocate a recovery package of some €750 billion to help countries and regions recover from the COVID-19 shock. This raises fundamental policy questions. Should the EU favour countries or regions most affected by the COVID-19 epidemic? Using which criteria: death toll, economic impact?
The COVID-19 epidemic had very different impacts on different EU countries and regions. Death rates ranged from more than 800 per million inhabitants in Belgium; 500 to 600 in Sweden, Italy and Spain; around 400 in France and the Netherlands, then down to some 100 in Germany, and fewer than 50 in many eastern European countries and Greece. These numbers mask even greater differences within countries. For example, 48% of all Italian deaths occurred in Lombardy, with a rate of 1,600 deaths per million inhabitants, while the south of the country recorded mortality rates similar to Greece's. The situation is comparable in France and Spain when we compare the Paris or...

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