Conference on Future of Europe must restore sense of purpose to EU post-Brexit, says former UK MEP

Press quote (The Parliament Magazine)
30 March 2021

Christian Odendahl, chief economist and John Springford, deputy director at the Centre for European Reform, say the scale of US President Joe Biden’s spending plans means the US economy will recover much faster than Europe’s.

They said, “There are two reasons why the economic recovery in Europe will be slower. First, the rollout of vaccines in Europe is roughly six weeks behind the US. As of late March, the EU had administered 13 doses per 100 people, according to the ‘Our World In Data’ website. The US passed that mark on February 10.” 

“Six weeks is not a huge difference, but there are worrying signs of a third wave of the pandemic hitting Europe, and British and South African variants of the virus may force governments to impose tougher, longer and therefore more costly lockdowns in order to contain them.”

They said, “The second reason is economic policy. But it is now up to national governments - some of them highly indebted and at risk of falling foul of Europe’s fiscal rules in the future - to boost their economies further.”

In a policy paper they said, “In some ways, Europe is more in need of stimulus than the US, yet on current plans its governments will do far less than the Biden administration.”