Issued on: 10/12/2020 – 20:12
Many had billed this date on the calendar as the crowning moment for Germany’s rotating EU presidency and its outgoing chancellor before her final months in office. So how will Angela Merkel – a fixture for so long on the European stage – weather a summit that couldn’t be more crucial?
Will Hungary and Poland find a loophole around rule of law conditions to European aid or blow up the landmark Covid-19 stimulus plan the rest of the continent is counting on? What lasting damage then for Europe’s street cred? Spoiler alert: there is a deal. We ask what’s in the compromise.
The hard-fought spending package is an ambitious response to the pandemic: for the first time, it includes the mutualisation of borrowing at the EU level. It was also seen as a way to turn the page after the UK’s departure.
But there too, there’s unfinished business… with injury time Brexit trade talks casting a long shadow over a summit where the UK’s not even on the official agenda. The fact is, we still don’t quite know how strong EU institutions will be going forward in a post-Brexit, post-Trump, post-Merkel world.
Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain and Imen Mellaz.