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EU's Michel Lays Out Long-term Budget & Recovery Plan

European Council President Charles Michel on Friday laid out a plan for long-term budget and recovery for the coronavirus-hit members of the European Union, one week ahead of a summit of the 27 leaders.

In the revised proposal that Michel presented, the size of the European long-term budget called Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) is envisioned at EUR 1.074 trillion.

The proposal was initially discussed on June 19 and attracted strong opposition from some members. Subsequently, Michel held bilateral negotiations with all leaders.

The rebates for Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Sweden will be maintained, Michel said.

He proposed the size of the Covid-19 Recovery package to be EUR 750 billion and these funds can be used for back-to-back loans and spending through MFF programmes.

"This is an exceptional and one-off tool for an exceptional situation," Michel said.

He also laid out a proposal for a Brexit reserve of EUR 5 billion to counter the unforeseen consequences of the UK's exit from the EU in the most affected member states and sectors.

Drawing attention to the need to address climate change, the top EU official also proposed to target 30 percent of funding on climate-related projects.

"Expenses under the MFF and NextGenerationEU will comply with our objective of climate neutrality by 2050, the EU's 2030 climate targets, and the Paris Agreement," Michel said.

He also urged focus on plastic waste, carbon adjustment mechanism, and the digital levy which is proposed to be introduced by the end of 2021.

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