Europe’s €750bn recovery fund is an economic pop-gun—but a political howitzer

The European Commission is now bordering on totalitarian in constitutional terms, mostly unchecked by any meaningful parliamentary oversight

The macroeconomic value of the EU’s €750bn Recovery Fund lies somewhere between modest and trivial. Part of it is reshuffling money that would have been spent anyway. The rest is spread thin over many years.

The significance is political. The fund is a profound change in the structure and character of the European Project. The Commission will have powers to raise large funds on the capital markets for the first time and to direct how the spending is allocated, turning this strange hybrid creature into an even more extraordinary institution. 

Where else in the world does a single unelected body have the ‘right of initiative’ on legislation, and the executive powers of a proto-government, and the spending prerogatives of a parliament, all wrapped in one? 

It is Caesaropapist, bordering on totalitarian in constitutional terms, mostly unchecked by meaningful parliamentary oversight. Montesquieu must be turning in his grave. 

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