The Eurozone nations’ finance ministers (Eurogroup) will convene an informal meeting to discuss bloc-wide macroeconomic developments today.
Prior to today’s meeting, the Eurozone’s collective GDP contracted by 0.6% in Q1 2021 following a 0.7% contraction in Q4 2020. Increased COVID-19 infections coupled by a slow vaccine rollout have—apart from France—pushed the bloc into its two-quarter recession.
The Eurogroup will call for states to maintain their current policies, despite economic woes. The group will project a Q2 2021 recovery as members—particularly the bloc’s largest economy, Germany—receive more vaccine doses and generate positive GDP growth .
Expect the Eurogroup’s discussions today to focus on implementing the EU’s monumental NextGenerationEU 2021-2027 stimulus package. The record-breaking $1.47 trillion budget was created to promote the bloc’s post-pandemic recovery by funding green industries to combat climate change and financial technology schemes to stimulate economic growth in small- to medium-sized enterprises. Though the bloc will likely recover in Q2 2021, it is unlikely NextGenerationEU will be a major part of the recovery. The plan takes an iterative approach to investment, releasing funds once members have met guidelines in the plan, meaning its effects will not likely be felt until the medium- to long-term.
Bilal is the Director of Training and Development. He holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where he extensively researched the US war in Afghanistan. Previously, Bilal has worked independently throughout mainland China as a teacher and as a domestic political communications fellow with Murmuration.