Yesterday evening the EU finance ministers agreed on a €540 billion emergency package to face the economic and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
This set of emergency measures will make money available to strengthen health systems and improve prevention in member states through the European Stability Mechanism; to support businesses through the European Investment Bank, and workers through the new instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE).
Iratxe García said:
“We all know there were difficult negotiations and everyone had to compromise. Beyond the details of the outcome, which is positive, the agreement is a good signal that the EU is ready to fight COVID-19 in solidarity.
“Unfortunately this will be a long crisis and the EU will need a comprehensive long-term strategy to relaunch the economy. This is an unprecedented systemic shock that demands bold and innovative measures, and a lot of political courage.
“We Socialists and Democrats are working with other political groups in the European Parliament on a joint resolution to be adopted next week that will propose further measures to the Commission and the European Council.
“When heads of state and government meet, they will have to decide how to finance the agreed-on recovery plan. The existing tools will not be enough: the European Central Bank purchase programme, the European Stability Mechanism and the European Investment Bank will not suffice. These are all supporting national measures rather than thinking of European shared answers. That is why we also need an ambitious Multiannual Financial Framework for the next seven years, as well as new own resources and mutualising future debt though recovery bonds.
“We also expect the temporary SURE programme to be the beginning of a long-term unemployment reinsurance scheme.”