The European Parliament today agreed on a resolution on the conclusions of the extraordinary European Council meeting of 17-21 July 2020. Socialists and Democrats were at the forefront of this joint text, as it reflects the position adopted by the Group.
Iratxe García, S&D Group president, stated:
“At a time when we are faced with the worst crisis of our generation, the European Union cannot leave present and future generations behind. For the first time in the history of the Union, the member states have agreed to issue joint debt. Most of the 750,000 million euros of the Recovery Fund correspond to grants. The European joint debt should not burden the national budget and its reimbursement should be done through EU Own Resources. This is why we must rely on a strong system of own resources, as my Group has proposed. The burden of financing the recovery must not fall on the most vulnerable. We urge the Commission to now come up with a clear roadmap and targets to achieve a functioning system of own resources.
“Money allocated to the Union’s multiannual budget (MFF), however, is less than what we would have wanted. While we welcome the decision to allocate 30% of it to expenses related to the Green Deal, there are still many more aspects in the proposal heavily underfunded: humanitarian aid, cooperation, research, programmes like Horizon Europe, InvestEU, LIFE, Erasmus+, ESF+ and Digital Europe. Social Democrats will not accept the cuts made in the long-term goals at a time when they are most needed. We urge for negotiations to start soon, to increase funding.
“In Europe, we share solidarity, but we also share responsibility. We will remain very firm against any proposal that puts at risk the Rule of Law, our best tool to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. The rights and freedoms of the Union are mandatory for all partners. As Social Democrats, we are very clear: the Union is not a bank, which is why we do not want a single € for those governments that do not act with full respect for our fundamental values!
“This Parliament has been open to negotiate the MFF since 2018. Now is the time to act! Thanks to the commitment made, the European Union shows that it has learned from the mistakes of the 2008 crisis. Austerity saved banks and abandoned people, now it’s time to put people first. For this, we must focus our efforts on the transformation necessary to achieve a greener, more digital and inclusive society that leaves no one behind.”