Responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Council decided to provide unprecedented financial support to member states to help them with the economic fall-out of the pandemic. The creation of a temporary institutional structure – the RRF – to support member states with loans and grants was agreed to in July 2020 and was formally established in February 2021. To access the RRF funds, member states need to submit detailed National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs).
This Policy Brief examines to what extent this new set-up changes the power balance among key actors (e.g. financial and economic versus social affairs actors) in the EU’s macroeconomic architecture. It is based on extensive document analysis and 23 semi-structured elite interviews (October 2020-July 2021) with individuals who hold senior positions in different Directorates General (DGs) of the European Commission, European social partners organisations, and member states.