After presenting a Joint European Roadmap towards lifting Covid-19 containment measures on April 15th, the European Commission (EC) issued a new document on April 21st, outlining a recovery plan to help relaunch EU economies. With the aim of building a “more resilient, sustainable and fair Europe”, the plan explores 4 different areas:
1) A revitalised Single Market: the EC highlights green transition, digital transformation and strategic autonomy as key components to relaunch and modernise the EU economy. This includes ensuring a dynamic industrial policy, support for SMEs and start-ups (particularly in the health sector), and innovative ways of unlocking finance, notably through digital platforms.
2) An unprecedented investment effort: there is a need for a Marshall-Plan type investment effort to fuel the recovery and modernise the economy, which would mobilise public and private sectors. The future Multiannual Financial Framework and the European Investment Bank will be key instruments to support this effort.
3) Global action: the EU cannot act in isolation; it should help shape a global response through multilateralism and a rules-based international order, with the UN, the WTO, the G20 and the G7. This includes re-establishing trade flows and supply routes, as well as providing assistance to countries in need.
4) A functioning system of governance: drawing lessons from the crisis while keeping EU principles and values at its core, the EU must find ways to be more resilient, efficient and effective; this means becoming better at developing its executive capacity at managing crises in a coordinated fashion.