Speaking to News Journos soon after announcing a €750 billion recovery fund, Von Der Leyen said that the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic “affects all member states.”
“All of them see the economic damage in the single market, but also in the national economies, therefore this is Europe’s moment,” she said.
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“We have to overcome this crisis together. The proposal I put forward is in a frame that is trusted, quality proven: the European budget. Next Generation EU the recovery package will allow us to come out of the crisis stronger than before.”
As much of the funding will be financed by borrowing on the financial markets, concerns have been raised that a new generation of Europeans will find themselves paying for the rescue package. But Von Der Leyen said that the funding was specifically built with that generation in mind.
“More important is that we have a pact with the next generation – that we say: ‘Yes, we have to raise money now and invest it, but we will invest it the European priorities that are so important for you.
“That is the European Green Deal and that is the digitisation that is of utmost importance for the young generation […]. If they have to pay back partly that money at least they should harvest and reap the benefits of these investments.”
You can watch the interview with Ursula Von Der Leyen in the player above.