Futuribles Journal n° 441

Économie, emploi - Géopolitique - Institutions

The European Economic Recovery Plan, a Historic Breakthrough: Sustainability without Funding is Unsustainable

While the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage in Europe, complicated by the appearance of new variants forcing many countries to lock down their populations again and restrict economic activity, the prospects for surmounting the health — and consequent economic — crisis are growing bleaker. Unlike what happened in the previous crisis of 2008, the European Union has, very fortunately, prioritized solidarity in its attempt to deal with that crisis by adopting a European Recovery Plan. As Catherine Vieilledent and Jean-François Drevet see it, this represents a historic breakthrough: at last the EU is providing itself with the necessary funds as an economic and political entity. This article describes the content of the Recovery Plan, the various instruments mobilized to enable the member states to sustain and revive their economies, and shows how it marks a major change in the history of the building of the European Community. With a common budget unblocked, the possibility of borrowing, and the return to using its own resources, the EU is changing its scope and affording itself some powerful long-term tools for action. This is major progress, attesting concretely to the Union’s usefulness to its citizens, which could give the whole European project a new chance to reposition itself on the world stage.

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