In contrast to the previous three days, most leaders on Monday showed an air of contained optimism. There was a chance of compromise. However, at eight o’clock in the afternoon a negotiating proposal was still being worked on, which caused the European Council meeting to register successive delays until 9:30 p.m. Council President Charles Michel had already made this clear by noon, highlighting the complications that the latest negotiations always have. Although the man responsible for presenting the proposals to the heads of government and state also expressed his confidence in closing a general agreement. “I know that the last steps are always the most difficult, but I am convinced that an agreement is possible,” he stressed.

The French President, Emmanuel Macron, and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, also expressed their “hope” of reaching a compromise on the European economic recovery plan, aware, however, that “nothing is decided”. “There is a spirit of commitment that is there. There have been very tense moments and moments that, without a doubt, will still be difficult, “added the French leader upon his arrival at the Europa Building, where the resumption of the summit was scheduled at four in the afternoon. The subsequent delay showed that indeed moments of tension remained. In that interim, the Spanish Pedro Sánchez called all the participants to fight for consensus.

Angela Merkel revealed that during the previous morning the European leaders “found a framework for a possible agreement. It is a step forward and gives hope that an agreement can be reached today (by Monday). The President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, spoke in the same vein, insisting that the pact is crucial for the future of the European Union. He warned that the Twenty-seven face a “crucial phase” and acknowledged that the negotiation had been “marathon”, despite which the community partners “have shown a clear will to find a solution”, which as of press time has not yet produced.

Historical moment

More emphatic was the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, who demanded that the leaders “an agreement at the height of this historic moment.” In this sense, he confessed “concerned” about a future “that mortifies European solidarity and the community method.” “The European Parliament has established its priorities and hopes that they will be met,” he said, before pointing out that one of them is the “effective defense of the rule of law.”

In tune with the Italian politician, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel acknowledged that at the summit not only economic games are played. “Accepting a Europe with downward values, downward rights and respect for the downward rule of law will imply a ‘no’ on our part,” he said in reference to Poland or Hungary, who advanced their refusal to link funds with conditions imposed by the EU on the political functioning of their governments.