What the European Recovery deal tells us about EU’s global ambition

Policy Brief by Dr. Nicole Koenig and Dr. Eulalia Rubio

European leaders have reached a deal on the long-term EU budget and post-Covid recovery fund. The compromise is historical in terms of internal solidarity, but it curtails the EU’s geopolitical ambition and ability to provide global public goods. EU spending on development and humanitarian aid is lower than in its last long-term budget whereas challenges are clearly bigger. Expenditure on security and defence has been halved compared to the Commission’s 2018 proposal despite rising demand for more autonomous EU action. If the European Parliament fails to rectify these cuts, the member states will have to find more creative ways to pool national resources in the coming years.

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