In a stunning prediction, the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent claimed that the Brussels-led bloc will “break down” within just a few years. Lyse Doucet warned that the historic post-coronavirus recovery package agreed this week is simply “papering over the cracks”. She warned that Angela Merkel’s mistakes in the talks could lead to the downfall of the bloc, as she laid out the three reasons why.
The deal, which took four days to agree, involves £677bn in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc.
Doucet told BBC Dateline: “This was historic. Never before have they agreed to borrow money collectively.
“For months there has been a public tug of war between the frugals in the north and the needier members in the south.
“And we’ve had constant warnings that the very existence of the EU was at stake.”
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The leading BBC correspondent continued: “Particularly for Angela Merkel, in the twilight years of her rule, not just as a German leader but a European leader, she knew she had to get this done and reach a consensus.
“This mattered more than anything else. It was groundbreaking but the compromises were breathtaking.
“The cost in the medium to long-term could lead to a breakdown in the founding values of the bloc, whether it’s liberal democratic values, respect for rule of law and reform. It will start to chip away.”
Doucet outlined that the Brussels’ capitulation to Hungary, fears of an Italian financial crisis, and a smaller post-Brexit budget could take their toll on the bloc’s future.
Doucet added:”There are fears that in the long-term this will allow members of the bloc to continue drifting away from the principles and towards autocratic rules.
“There is also growing concern that Italy will dominate future summits just like Greece has in the past.
“There is also a smaller budget post-Brexit, and the EU Commission acknowledged this.
“This means budgets for crucial projects – on the climate criss or health funds – have been reduced or cut back completely.”
The package will now face technical negotiations by members and needs ratification by the European Parliament.