Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte watches German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and French President Emmanuel Macron in front of the building of the European Council building in Brussels on July 18, 2020
Francisco Seco | AFP | Getty Images
The 27 governments of the European Union, after marathon talks in Brussels, reached a groundbreaking agreement on the region's 750 billion pandemic recovery fund.
European Council President Charles Michel said he believed this agreement would be seen as a "crucial moment" for Europe.
"We did it! Europe is strong. Europe is united," he said at an early Tuesday press conference announcing the agreement. "It was obviously difficult negotiations for Europeans in very difficult times."
Michel said the agreement "is good business, this is strong business and, above all, it is the right business for Europe at the moment."
Heads of state have been in talks since Friday morning to discuss the proposed fund and the next EU budget. However, profound differences in the way the grants and loans are distributed, investment monitoring and linkage with EU democratic values have made the talks one of the longest EU summits in history.
"Europe as a whole now has a great opportunity to emerge from the crisis stronger," said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but tonight is a big step towards recovery," she said.
Regarding other measures, the EU has already approved a package of short-term fiscal incentives worth € 540 billion to deal with the ongoing economic shock. This is in addition to what individual governments have announced separately for their own economies since the pandemic in Europe.
In addition, the European Central Bank purchases government bonds as part of its pandemic emergency purchase program, which amounts to EUR 1.35 trillion.
This is the latest news. Please try again later.