Von der Leyen hails introduction of new taxes as “big winner” of EU recovery fund negotiation

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that her team has a clear timetable on introducing the New Own Resources which will finance the huge debt-financed recovery package agreed on by European Union (EU) leaders earlier this week.

Addressing European Parliamentarians ahead of their debate on the conclusions of the summit, von der Leyen hailed the consensus on the New Own Resources as a “big winner” of the intensive negotiation, and appealed to the lawmakers not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

Von der Leyen described it as a “huge and historic step” for the EU and something which both the Commission and the Parliament had been pushing for.

“We have no time to waste. The Commission will come forward with a package of new own resources. This will include a digital levy. We will also put forward our Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and an extension of the Emissions Trading System. The two go hand in hand,” she said, adding “We need to put a price on carbon in all key sectors of the economy at home and we need to avoid carbon leakage from elsewhere to make sure we stay sustainable and competitive.”

The heads of state and government of the EU members reached an agreement earlier this week following marathon talks in Brussels on the next seven-year EU budget worth over 1 trillion euros in conjunction with a 750 billion-euro economic recovery package that aims to help EU countries bounce back from the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We all know that Europe is not out of the woods yet. But Europe can now see dawn turning into light. By standing united – 27 Member States backing the Commission – we raise money on the capital market to fight the worst economic crisis ever – together,” she said.

Meanwhile, she conceded that “with light, also comes shadow. And in this case, the shadow is in the form of a very lean long-term EU budget. There are regrettable and painful decisions on many programmes, which have crucial European added value.”

“We managed to avoid even further cuts – as some Member States wanted – but this lean MFF (Multiannual Financial Framework) is a difficult pill to swallow,” she said. (1 euro = 1.16 U.S. dollars)