The Budget, Recovery Fund and Implications for the Future of EU Decision Making

The recent agreement on the EU budget and Recovery Fund is the latest example of the difficulties in forging pan-­European agreements. Even in the midst of a global pandemic and the urgent need for a secure budgetary framework, the EU’s decision-making process continues to frustrate faster, majority led decision making.

These disagreements between member states directly risk the ability of the EU to proceed with key policy initiatives such as the Recovery Fund, the Green Deal and working towards a fuller recovery from the ongoing Corona crisis. This, in turn, has the potential to compromise the wider geo-­political role of the EU as a global actor. It also injects uncertainty into how the financial markets view existing commitments made by Brussels regarding Europe’s flagship Recovery Fund. This event will consider if the recent disagreements over the Rule of Law mechanism should provide the catalyst for a wider reform of how important decisions are made at EU level. What other mechanisms, if any, exist for ensuring a more streamlined and efficient decision-making process at EU level? Could agreement on fundamental issues be reached outside the standard approach of achieving unanimity across all member states?