By Ian Lesser (Vice President and Executive Director, Brussels)
(Suggestion by Dr Constantinos Adamides)
This piece was first published in the EUOberver.
Senior figures across Europe, from the presidents of the European Council and the European Parliament to the prime minister of Spain and the head of the OECD have all called for a “Marshall Plan” to deal with the enormous human and economic costs of the coronavirus crisis.
The Marshall Plan has also been invoked in the American debate over a two trillion dollar stimulus and compensation package.
The symbolism is powerful.
But to give these references substance, leaders need to remember what the Marshall Plan really meant. It is about politics and strategy as much as it is about money.
Sure, it is about scale. The Marshall Plan—the European Recovery Plan of 1948-1951 provided some $12bn (about $130 billion in today’s dollars, or €118bn) in American assistance to participating European countries […]