The EU’s multi-annual budget for 2021-27 with about € 1,2 trillion and allocated € 750 bn as a “rescue package” for the states need the European Parliament and the national decision-makers to “prove” that the Commission’s expected set of measures and reforms is worth the investment. The rescue package’s “division” into loans (€360 bn) and subsidies (€390 bn) is probably the main item of dispute alongside “own resources” in the budget. These financial resources have been allocated to tackle the economic and social consequences of the pandemic crisis, although both directions have to be fully approved soon by the two EU legislative institutions: i.e. the Council and the European Parliament
National “strategic governance” shall concentrate on combining the EU priorities with that of the member states’ growth patterns. Both the EU institutions and the member states have to re-assess their traditional growth patterns to adequately react to the present and possible future chocks. The EU as a whole as well as the Baltic States and Latvia have to elaborate resilient economies’ structures adequate to modern global and European challenges.
The national elites are, of course, fully aware of the “assignment’s” difficulties for governance system, for existing public institutions as well the whole nations: the tasks are really extraordinary and complex.
The Baltic States have had already numerous difficult periods during a century of their independence from which they emerged democratically and economically strong. Presently, the Baltic States’ leaders need to have both the political will and peoples’ support to overcome numerous existing challenges in post-pandemic period for the benefit of the people. The decision-makers cannot wait longer: their patriotic task is to react quickly and forcefully…
A “business plan” for decision-makers
In analysing the EU’s perspective financial resources and looking into the EU’s “political kitchen”, here are some hints – in a sketchy mode- for the Baltic States elites and governing institutions.
I. Modern EU financial issues and the Baltic States’ growth agenda.
- Making known for a wide public the approved financial “packages”: the MFF for 2027 and a rescue package to assist the states in need;
- Showing in the social media the exact financial resources allocated to the Baltic States;
- Defining present challenges for all walks of life in the Baltic States affected by the pandemic: e.g. in consumption, energy, transport, culture, education, etc.
- To correlate the EU and the states’ national investment strategies and priorities
II. The new EU budget for 2021-27
Huge financial resources allocated to tackle the economic and social consequences of the pandemic crisis have been mainly (about 2/3) distributed along two directions: a) cohesion, resilience and values – € 427 billion, and b) natural resources, environment and agriculture – € 401 bn. It is important to mention that even a most vital for the Union’s economy direction: i.e. single market, innovation and digital has been allocated “only” € 150 billion.
More on the summit in: https://www.integrin.dk/2020/07/28/after-extraordinary-july-2020-summit-a-second-opinion/
Complex table: total appropriations for 2021-27, in €:
- Single Market, Innovation and Digital: about 150 bn.
- Cohesion, Resilience and Values: about 427; including two sub-headings: Economic, social and territorial cohesion – with 372, 6 bn and Resilience and Values – 1 bn.
- Natural Resources and Environment: about 401 bn; including payments for “market related expenditure and direct payments” –291 bn.
- Migration and Border Management: about 26 bn.
- Security and Defence: about 15 bn.
- Neighbourhood and the world: 110 bn.
- European Public Administration: 82 bn.
Total commitment appropriations: 1.210.894
Note: “The Single Market is our greatest asset”, argued the Commission Executive Vice-President M. Vestager, in charge of competition policy (June 2020). In: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1221
III. Perspective reforms in the Baltic States
These reforms shall be in line with the European political and economic guidelines, including the following most important:
- While a particular attention shall be given to rescue measures in tackling the pandemic aftermath, the national strategies shall cover a more distant and long-term perspective;
- Keeping in mind the European political priorities for 2017 (6+1) in formulating national long-term strategies and investment patterns;
- Increasing export potentials and reviewing the composition of internal consumption to be covered by national producers;
- Cooperation among the three Baltic States is becoming a great additional resource: the contacts among various socio-economic sectors shall be facilitated.
IV. Baltic States’ socio-economic development in the post-COVID period
- Resilient growth shall become a strategic perspective with new attention to research on the issues of the “post-COVID-economics”;
- Scientific analysis of modern national political economy in the Baltics shall be resumed with a particular attention to the welfare society’s vision and priorities;
- It is vital to assist national entrepreneurship’s community in all possible ways: e.g. by researching the “business technology” directions;
- It is important to draft new approaches to labour/trade unions in association with the tripartite representatives: i.e. the government, employees associations and employers organisations;
- A proper analysis of potentials for the perspective education trends and “getting new skills” programs is needed as well.
Bottom-line. These decision-makers’ efforts in the EU and among national elites are being aimed at raising the so-far “low-income” Baltic States into higher levels with increasing attention to citizens’ happiness. However, to rely upon the Union’s financial support from a great rescue package and the long-term budget is not going to be a “sure thing”: the EU funds for science, research, education, innovation, climate, migration and health programs have been cut down. Therefore, the main attention in the Baltic States’ governance shall be given to a more efficient use of existing national resources to fully respect sustainability, digitalisation and circular economy priorities: thus a hard time for decision-makers in the months ahead…