PARIS (Reuters) – The European Union’s 750 billion euro ($893 billion) economic recovery fund may prove too small and what matters now is spending the money as fast as possible, ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said.
EU governments have until the end of next month to submit detailed plans on how to spend funds from the 27-nation bloc’s landmark stimulus fund.
The European Commission and the governments have yet to agree on structural reforms, while domestic politics in some countries has fuelled concerns of possible delays.
“It’s possible that the European support plan proves to be insufficient, but that debate is premature,” Schnabel said in an interview with French newspaper Les Echos published on Tuesday.
“What matters now is that the European funds that have been approved are paid out as quickly as possible. It’s absolutely essential, any delay would be harmful,” she added.
The European Commission hopes that by September it can start disbursing the money, which will be raised through joint borrowing by EU member states.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has started making payouts under a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package.
($1 = 0.8403 euros)
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Richard Chang)