The EPP Group in the European Parliament has threatened to veto the long-term EU budget if Europe's multi-billion Coronavirus recovery plan is set up without Parliament having the right of democratic oversight and parliamentary control and being involved in the shaping of the fund.
EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber and EPP Group Vice-Chair Siegfried Mureșan wrote this in a letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel.
The Coronavirus recovery plan “cannot be an exception to this basic rule of democracy and legitimacy”, they write.
The letter lists conditions under which the biggest Group in the European Parliament can vote for the budget and the recovery fund. "The EPP Group will only give its consent if the MFF and the Recovery Plan proposals respect these core criteria", says the letter. One of the criteria is "a massive recovery plan for the post-COVID-19 pandemic, fully linked to the MFF".
The MFF is the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework, the long-term budget. The European Commission has been considering proposing a recovery plan based on an article of the EU Treaties which would not require approval from Parliament, and would formally separate the plan from normal budgetary decision-making.
Without the approval of the European Parliament, the European Union's budget cannot be decided.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States