The European Parliament today adopted a resolution which calls for a comprehensive Recovery Plan to face the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences. Backed by a parliamentary majority, it calls for increased funding for the 7-year EU budget and for recovery bonds to mutualise the debt originated by the investment to face this crisis.
The leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, said:
“This is a crucial moment in our history. We need a Recovery Plan only comparable to the Marshall Plan. In this Parliament, we have been able to overcome ideological divisions and the national interest to defend a robust European response, for the sake of all our citizens. We hope that the Council will do the same.
“What is needed now is political courage and vision. It is time for strategic investment, not only to stimulate production and purchase power to re-activate the economy as the lockdown measures start phasing out, but also to ensure resilience in the future. We must use this massive investment to strengthen our public systems as well as crucial sectors of our industry and economy.
“This is the time to show that the EU is based on solidarity at all levels: between people, between countries and between territories. We call for mutualising part of our countries’ debts by issuing recovery bonds guaranteed by the EU budget.
“This is a symmetric crisis that is hitting everyone. However, not all have the same capacity to face the consequences of the confinement and economic paralysis. This crisis is highlighting major social and territorial inequalities and cannot be allowed to widen the gap even further.
“The EU must come out of this pandemic paving the ground for a new economic social and ecological model, which puts people and their health first, rather than macroeconomic figures.
“The more decisive our action is now, the less impact the economic and social crisis will have, and the sooner we will overcome it. If the Commission and the Council were not up to the task at the beginning of this outbreak, we will push so that they will take their responsibility from now on.
“Many Europeans are disappointed because they expected more, because they still believe in the EU. We will remind this to the national leaders.”