Still, if the spending proposals unveiled yesterday by the European Commission, the EU's executive body, are approved by the Union's 27 member states, at least €500 billion of this total amount will be new cash meant to help Europe's nations bounce back from what is anticipated to be their worst economic recession since World War II.
The funds would be part of a €750 billion COVID-19 rescue package for the EU, which would sit on top of the €1.1 trillion European budget for the 2021-2027 period.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement: "The recovery plan turns the huge challenge we face into an opportunity, not only by supporting the recovery but also by investing in our future: the European Green Deal and digitalization will boost jobs and growth, the resilience of our societies and the health of our environment".
The plan comes following big pressure from Italy and Spain, Europe's first victims of the outbreak and too burdened with heavy debts to alone rebuild their economies. "For me the choice is simple, I want us to take a strong road together".More news: British regulator says 'COPCOV' hydroxychloroquine trial paused
When combined with 10 billion in loans from the European Investment Bank, the fund aims to trigger a total of at least 150 billion euros in just transition investments over 2021-27, including private capital, the Commission said.
The Commission is proposing to strenghten the Just Transition Fund up to 40 billion euro, to assist European Union countries in accelerating the transition towards climate neutrality. We were described as visionaries because we believed in it form the start, 500 billion in non-repayable grants and 250 in loans are an adequate sum. The Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš has said it would be "unfair to be penalised for being successful" referring to the low number of coronavirus cases in his country.
The euro jumped to trade at $1.1022, up from $1.0932.
Conte said the proposal "goes to the right direction", and said the €750bn is the right amount for the recovery.More news: Knicks great Ewing out of hospital after positive COVID-19 test
President of the European Council Charles Michel called the proposal an "important step" and said "everything should be done" to reach a final agreement before summer.
EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni earlier confirmed the figure, writing on Twitter: "A European turning point to face an unprecedented crisis".
The EC will get the 750 billion by temporarily raising the common budget ceiling to 2% of GDP and going to the markets to finance itself.
The European Commission is proposing to direct billions of euros of financial relief into high tech and green investments to help the bloc recover from the coronavirus crisis.More news: Coronavirus restrictions could impact state GOP convention in Greenville
A joint diplomatic paper put forward by the so-called "Frugal Four" said the four countries "cannot agree" to any "instruments or measures leading to debt mutualisation nor significant increases in the European Union budget". They said "it is hard to think that this proposal can be the final result of these negotiations".