The negotiations lasted four days – much longer than planned.
EU leaders on Tuesday night reached an agreement on a $ 2.1 trillion budget and an aid package for the coronavirus epidemic.
The agreement provides for funding of $ 857 billion to overcome the consequences of the epidemic, which will be allocated in the form of loans and grants to the most affected countries.
The agreement was reached after negotiations that stretched over four days and nights – much longer than initially planned.
The main stumbling block was the amount of aid in the form of grants.
A group of five Nordic countries, including the Netherlands and Austria, favored reducing the $ 572 billion actually proposed. At the same time, other EU members, such as Spain and Italy, wanted to keep these restrictions to a minimum.
The final version provides for a compromise of $ 446 billion in grants.
European Council President Charles Michel called the package a success for all 27 members of the bloc and “the right deal for Europe.”
To enter into force, the agreement must be approved by the European Parliament.