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LLX roundtable titled “Next Generation EU 2.0 – first steps towards a fiscally more integrated Eurozone?”

On Thursday 21 October 2021, the Europa Institute held a hybrid roundtable on the legal feasibility of financing future EU policies – such as EU Green Deal measures – through debts and of thereby extending the novel funding mechanism introduced by Next Generation EU (NGEU). This roundtable was organised in the context of the Leiden Law Exchanges (LLX). Their aim is to facilitate an exchange of ideas on current legal issues between academics, policy makers and other stakeholders.

When the European Council agreed – after intense and lengthy discussions – to establish NGEU in July 2020, one of the core political messages was that the recovery strategy was a “one-off”, temporary solution to overcome the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The novel financing approach, namely to finance NGEU entirely through EU borrowing on the markets, was confronted with national opposition – for example in Finland and in Germany. Nevertheless, some have proposed to copy and apply the “NGEU”-model to other EU policy fields. The LLX roundtable of 21 October offered the opportunity to discuss these proposals and evaluate their political, legal-constitutional feasibility.

Three distinguished speakers opened the discussion with brief presentations followed by a fruitful discussion. Professor Ben Smulders (VU University Brussels) focused on the EU legal-political framework applicable to debt-based financing of EU policies, Professor Martin Nettesheim (Tübingen University) addressed the German constitutional view in light of the pending constitutional challenges before the German Federal Constitutional Court and Professor Tuomas Ojanen (Helsinki University) evaluated the Finnish constitutional concerns that surfaced in relation to the Own Resources Decision earlier this year. The LLX was moderated by Frederik Behre (Europa Institute, Leiden University). 

The organiser, Frederik Behre, would like to thank the speakers and the participants for their valuable insights and contribution to the discussion.

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