About results of the recent EU Summit – experts during the online discussion of the Gorchakov Fund

29 July 2020

On July 29, the Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund hosted online discussion “One train – different speeds of the carriages. Results of the EU summit”.

The seven-year plan of unification and the European economic recovery plan were approved at the EU summit on July 17.

During the online discussion, international experts discussed who had won at the end and who would have to tighten a belt in the coming seven years.

According to political scientist, Director of the German-Russian Forum Alexander Raar, the summit in Brussels had a historical meaning. The main goal of establishing the economic recovery fund is not to allow the breakup of the EU because that risk has existed until recently. Today, topics of solidarity and common overcoming of the existing crisis are important for the European elites.

The European Union is trying to establish a new model, according to which the humankind should be developing in the 21st century. We should not forget that the green revolution continues: countries are seriously concerned about the state of the environment and reducing the human impact. The EU is striving to create “green technologies”, which will be delivered to other countries and improve the economic situation of the Union.

The expert believes that there will be inflation and growth of prices in Europe. Many people will not be able to afford the same level of living, which they had before the coronavirus.

Dr. Andrea Gianotti, Director of the Institute of Eurasian Studies, shared his colleague's opinion.

The COVID-19 crisis can serve as a trigger for restructuring the European system as a whole. It is necessary to change the EU’s institutional and political mechanisms. Within the framework of the existing system, small countries do not have to hold bigger countries and governments as “hostages” anymore. Functioning mechanisms should become simpler and more effective as today the principle of democracy, in fact, is absent. If that mechanism does not change, the European association will become ineffective. Europe should be united and very solid, first of all, internally in order to cooperate productively with other counties, like the US, China and Russia.

Director of Center for Comprehensive International and European Studies at the Higher School of Economics Dr. Timofey Borodachev believes that events associated with the coronavirus have significantly affected the whole world, and Europe is not an exception. For the first time in the history, the pandemic has become a problem of national security. Governments should deal with that problem. Europe has faced a situation where certain countries were able to provide better protection of their citizens. That created serious negative political environment, which began threatening the whole European Union with a breakup.

Since April, large-scale discussions about how the economic support will be provided to the countries have been going on. The summit has become a high point of the discussion.

The main problem is that important decisions regarding the survival are not made by the EU institutions, but as a result of intergovernmental negotiations. Some countries are becoming more important for integration into the EU. The budgetary discipline regime is being reinforced in the EU. A certain group of countries with more political and economic opportunities make other countries pursue an economic policy, which is beneficial for them.

Specific decisions of the summit are very important and progressive for the future of Europe. The governments were able to create a mechanism of economic solidarity in the form of the economic assistance fund, which, in its turn, will be providing direct support to the member states. However, in the future, the EU summits may turn into a discussion about who and how is spending the money received.