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Merkel: No budget deal in June, but must come by fall

EU leaders won’t reach a compromise on the next seven-year budget and the economic recovery fund at their next summit in June but should get a deal before the fall, Angela Merkel said today.

The German chancellor told reporters that last week’s Franco-German proposal “provided a good building block” for the €750 billion recovery fund that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed Wednesday, alongside a new proposal for the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework.

Yet Merkel cautioned that she expects “difficult” negotiations ahead, which “will not be concluded at the next European Council” on June 19.

A similar message came from Paris, where a French official today told reporters that the Elysée palace does not think that June “will be the meeting where we reach an agreement.”

“We’ll need a dedicated meeting in person at the beginning of July to have a budgetary agreement, postponing till September would be too late and would not send the right political signal,” the French official said.

Merkel echoed that remark, telling reporters that EU leaders must find a compromise before fall to give national parliaments and the European Parliament “enough time” to discuss and ratify the proposed mechanisms so that they can enter into force on January 1, 2021.

The chancellor added that it was important for her that money paid via the fund “serves the recovery and future [of EU countries]” and that there are checks on spending.

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