24 Mar, 2020

COVID19: the EU must demonstrate its firepower

Last week, Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament wrote to President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council Charles Michel, following the establishment of Renew Europe’s own internal task force on COVID-19.

The letter outlines a number of complementary measures that could be taken by the European Union to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and all of its consequences.

Members of the Renew Europe task force that consists of the presidency of the group, its coordinators and MEPs held a videoconference on 19 March. Welcoming the action taken so far by the European Commission, the ECB and the ECDC, the group analysed the potential complementary measures that might help save lives and mitigate the economic and social consequences of the pandemic. Beyond these first additional proposals, Renew Europe continues to work on medium- and long-term measures.

Commenting on the latest developments and the next steps that are needed, Dacian Cioloș, President of Renew Europe, said today:

“While we support the actions so far outlined by the European Commission and the ECB, we believe there is more we can do at EU level, in the short term on both the health and economic aspects of this crisis.

We need to use the existing frameworks to transfer patients between territories, to ensure that every European citizen has the emergency treatment he or she needs, in the event of a surge in one region. We must act together to ensure our healthcare workers get the equipment they need and ensure that citizens have clear and correct information about the pandemic.”

“The time has come for the EU to demonstrate its firepower. While the recent economic measures announced by the ECB are welcome, they must be built on by finance ministers as an additional immediate response to the crisis. We urge the Council to approve the Sovereign Bond Backed Security (SBBS) proposal and to set up a new COVID-19 dedicated-instrument within the European Stability Mechanism to mobilise significant financial recourses with targeted conditionality. This 500bn euro instrument has the necessary firepower to tackle the economic impact of the pandemic.”

Find here the full letter to President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

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