Coronavirus: Charles Michel proposes "Marshall Plan" package for recovery of EU economy.

EU leaders will today (Mar. 26th) discuss a “Marshall Plan" style stimulus package to fight the dire effects of the coronavirus on the bloc’s economies, European Council President Charles Michel announced yesterday, POLITICO reports.

Speaking on Belgian TV channel LN24, he announced he had held discussions earlier this week on “the way we are going to put in place what I call a Marshall Plan-like stimulus strategy” with the bloc’s 27 ambassadors, ahead of Today’s video conference of heads of state and government.

“And when I say Marshall Plan-like, I say with a strong ambition,” he added. The impact of the economic shock on businesses means “we must be very active, very soon.”

Michel described the endeavour as “an intra-European plan which must mobilize EU capital in the framework of the European budget; which must mobilize national funds and which should also mobilize the private sector,” adding: “We will have to use all the tools.”

In a draft statement prepared ahead of the leaders' discussion and seen by POLITICO, officials wrote that the bloc would need an “exit strategy, a comprehensive recovery plan and unprecedented investment” for the coronavirus crisis, and would “invite the Commission to start work on a proposal for a Roadmap for recovery accompanied by an Action Plan.”

Michel said: “We should not expect a sprint, this crisis is going to have an impact on us at short, medium and long term."

In September 2018, when serving as Prime Minister of Belgium, Michel made a similar proposal: “The European Union must deploy a form of Marshall Plan for Africa, with a concrete operational ambition with African partners”.

Image: European Parliament.

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