Today the European Commission and the High Representative showed solidarity with the joint communication on the Global EU response to COVID-19, which sets out measures to address the immediate health crisis and resulting humanitarian needs.
The S&D Development Committee spokesperson, Udo Bullmann stated:
“We welcome the joint communication on the Global EU response to COVID -19 presented by the European Commission which, certainly, goes in the right direction.
“In a time when all major global actors decide to delete or postpone their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, the S&D Group strongly backs the Commission and Member State's decision to allocate around 20 billion Euro to both prevent the spreading of the virus and at the same time mitigate the severe socio-economic impact.
“The priority now must be to address the emergency and the short-term humanitarian needs but we cannot forget our common long-term economic and social goals, giving particular attention to the most vulnerable groups such as refugees, migrants, internally displaced people as well as women, children, the elderly and disabled people who already have been in a precarious situation.
“In this regard, we expect the European Commission to also focus on the need to support the education systems, which are in danger of collapsing in several countries. Public and accessible education for all is now more important than ever. In addition, it is crucial to leave no one behind through social protection measures such as income support or facilitated credit, to prevent social and economic collapse.”
The S&D Foreign Affairs Committee spokesperson, Tonino Picula, added:
"The EU is a global player and as such, in a sincere multilateralism spirit of close cooperation with key global institutions such as the UN and the G20, we must act to help our international partners, including our African friends in primis, to face this terrible global pandemic. The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically hit European societies and economies, causing thousands of deaths and compromising future growth. The spreading of the Coronavirus in the poorest areas and states risks overwhelming the already precarious lives and economy of the most vulnerable people. We cannot remain indifferent to this and this is why, despite the difficult times, we appreciate the efforts put forward today by the European Commission”.
“The emphasis on supporting health systems in the Western Balkans, southern and eastern neighbourhood, Africa, Middle East and Latin America is particularly crucial both for EU interests and its global moral fibre. We also call on all international actors to review and reassess all obstacles to effectively fight COVID-19, including those extra-territorial sanctions that cripple the ability of the states’ health system to cope with the pandemic.”