The president of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, the PES president, Sergei Stanishev, and the president of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions, Christophe Rouillon, have written an open letter to the Eurogroup calling for action to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe.
The letter welcomes the steps that have already been taken by the Commission and the European Central Bank, but sets out further progressive measures that must now be taken:
“…we call for a European-wide COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, with a consolidated and coherent strategy for the rapid mobilisation of the different available EU instruments to support people, SMEs and businesses…
“The equity of the European Investment Bank must be increased, and most importantly, the potential offered by the European Stability Mechanism must be used through a mandatory credit line to finance a common investment instrument. We call on the Eurogroup to come forward with a proper stimulus package agreed at the European level.
“To protect people’s lives and their health, the letter also urges the EU to take steps to guarantee that nobody has to choose between protecting themselves and their loved ones, or keeping their job. The EU needs to urgently build up its fiscal capacity and to implement an Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme to address any socioeconomic shock that EU countries face because of the pandemic.
“We - the PES, S&Ds and PES Group in the CoR - believe that those battling COVID-19 and its effects need to feel that the EU is doing whatever it takes to protect them. The EU must send a strong signal of unity and solidarity. With the right response, the EU can come out of this difficult period even stronger.”