European economic recovery

Briefing 03-07-2020

A more united Europe has the potential to deliver greater benefits for its citizens, more effectively and efficiently, by offering a level of strategic scale and depth that no individual Member State, or even group of Member States, can achieve on their own. In particular, the combination of Europe's single market and economic and monetary union, used to their full potential and complemented by progress in other policy areas, such as the Green Deal, could prove to be key assets for a strong European recovery from the serious economic shock recently administered by the coronavirus pandemic. An intensive debate has therefore opened up about the potential benefits of moving towards a higher degree of risk-sharing and collective 'strategic autonomy' for the Union, based on stronger and deeper common policies at EU level. The recent European Commission proposal for a 'Next Generation EU' recovery plan is likely to prove an important staging-point in this process. In practice, the size of the recovery response, the policy areas chosen for deepening, the financing options available to support them, and the degree to which they are matched by a greater willingness of the Union to 'act as one' on the international stage, are all likely to be determining factors in the outcome. This paper analyses some of the issues arising specifically in the economic field in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis and looks at a range of policy initiatives that could help build a broadly based and sustainable European economic recovery and a more resilient European Union.