The 5 5 billion “adjustment reserve” intended for the most vulnerable states by Brexit has been the subject of intense debate in Brussels in recent weeks. As the negotiations go straight home, the Council and the European Parliament are proposing a shield of 67 672 million for France.
The European Union wants to heal the wounds of Brexit. After difficult negotiations, the 27 member states are nearing reaching an agreement on an “adjustment reserve” that will establish the “mitigation of the socio – economic implications of the divorce between London and Brussels”.
Yet it was far from achievable. The terms of distribution of this fund, which the European Commission introduced in December 2020, which Brexit hopes will help the weakest countries, were initially unanimous. Some member states, including France, were saddened by the initial payment method.
But bitter talks over the past few weeks have led to a compromise in the European Council at the end of April. The latter will have to come to an agreement with Parliament, but today the positions of the two institutions seem relatively close, with a few details. Therefore, an agreement will be validated before July 1.
> How does the Brexit adjustment reserve work?
The Brexit Adjustment Reserve is set to provide 5 5 billion (at 2018 prices – or 5. 5.4 billion at current prices) to help areas and areas of operation most in need of dealing with the negative effects (trade, fishing, etc.). Of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. As required for the functioning of the European Union, each of the European Parliament and the Council must decide on its own instrument based on the recommendations of the European Commission.
MEPs, through the European Parliament’s Regional Development Committee, want this financial assistance to SMEs and self-employed as a priority to “overcome the administrative burden and increase operating costs”. They also want the aid to reach out to artisanal fisheries, local communities that depend on UK waters, and to reorganize EU citizens who have left the UK. On the contrary, they demanded that “the financial and banking institutions that benefited from the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union be excluded from the support of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.”
The European Parliament’s Regional Development Committee on Tuesday approved the position by a large majority (35, 6 abstentions, 1 against). It also sets a payment schedule with pre-financing of 4 4 billion in two equal installments,, 2 billion in 2021 and ബ 2 billion in 2022. The remaining billion will be allocated in 2025.
“We need to make sure that EU aid reaches the countries, regions, businesses and people most affected by the Brexit. Said Pascal Arimond, a reporter for the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
The Council of Europe is requesting that part of this be paid in three tranches from 2021 to 2023, 4 billion each and the rest in 2025. Among the measures that can be fully covered by the Fund are “assistance to businesses and fishing communities”, short-term employment, retraining programs, border, customs, sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions, re-integration of EU citizens leaving the UK due to indirect tax collection and withdrawal “.
Finally, the Council decides on the eligibility period for investments that may fall within the Reserve’s limits for a period of four years, from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2023. MIPs want a wider range starting January 1, 2019.
> What is the distribution between member countries?
This question has caused controversy. How is the share of funds going to each of the parties involved determined? In the initial proposal, the Commission planned to distribute between reserve member states according to two main criteria: the value of fish caught in the UK Special Economic Zone and the extent of trade by each country with the UK.
This “supply key” will help France reach 421 million euros and become the fourth largest beneficiary behind Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany. Enough money for the French negotiations with the other member states prompted them to discuss a suitable distribution method for their distribution.
Finally, the Council agreed to add a standard for the size of the population of the seas bordering the United Kingdom (in this case Brittany, Normandy, Hutsz-Huutsz-de-Saint-de-France on the French side). France should be the third beneficiary to pay 67 672 million with this new distribution key, behind Ireland (0 1.064 billion) and the Netherlands (10 810 million). It is followed by Germany (591 million) and Belgium (353 million).
In total, 4. 4.150 billion will be allocated in terms of trade, 600 600 million in terms of fisheries and 250 250 million in terms of border areas.
> What are the next steps?
If the council’s proposal is ready for discussion, MEPs will have to give the green light from parliament at the first plenary session in June, which should be a formality. The trial will begin later: a stage of discussion between the Council of Europe and Parliament, which will put their proposals face to face and find a compromise at the discretion of the European Commission, which will mediate.
As explained above, points of disagreement persist, especially over the payment schedule and the eligibility period for investments that may fall within the fund’s scope. However, the Council and the European Parliament already agree on the most sensitive point of the distribution key. So the amount to be distributed among the member states is the same in both proposals, which greatly facilitates the negotiations.
“Before the trial started, I think this part of the file was already fixed,” Pascal Arimond said. So an optimism about the possibility of reaching an agreement at the end of June.