The European recovery plan

Gaël Giraud & Nicolas Dufrêne

When the facade of a ‘slowly but surely’ approach results in a missed opportunity

In an editorial published on 12 April 2020, the Institut Rousseau warned of the illusions and delusions surrounding the idea – which was on everyone’s lips at the time – of ‘coronabonds’ and a European funding mechanism. We wrote: “the main benefit of eurobonds … would be to add a budgetary funding capacity exceeding that of all [EU] Member States taken individually. This means assuming that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, and that more investments would be allowed in Europe, in particular in southern Europe, because the countries in that region do not have the same level of budgetary reserves as their northern European counterparts.” Is this assumption that the whole is more than the sum of its parts borne out in the European recovery plan recently concluded on 21 July 2020? Not at all, and that is not its only deficiency.

About Institut Rousseau

The Institut Rousseau is an independent think tank committed to the ecological, social and democratic reconstruction of our societies and of the French Republic. Bringing together intellectuals, researchers, senior public officials, and private and public sector workers, it aims to come up with innovative, ambitious and workable public policy proposals. More info:

About the authors

Gaël Giraud is an economist, author, senior researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and professor at the prestigious École des Ponts ParisTech. A specialist in the interactions between economics and ecology, he was Chief Economist at the Agence Française de Développement (AFD – French Development Agency) until July 2019. He is Honorary President of the Institut Rousseau.

As well as being a senior public official, Nicolas Dufrêne is an expert in institutional and monetary issues and public financing tools and co-author with Alain Grandjean of Une monnaie écologique pour sauver la planète (An ecological currency to save the planet), published by Odile Jacob in 2020. He is Director of the Institut Rousseau.

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