COVID-19: PES Financial and Economic Network calls for bold action to avert economic crash

25/03/2020

Flags of the EU, North Macedonia and Albania

File photo: PES Financial and Economic Network meeting. Pictured: Network Chair Maria Joao Rodrigues (centre) and PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet (right).  

Unprecedented times require unprecedented measures, this was the conclusion of the PES Financial and Economic Network videoconference today.

Unprecedented times require unprecedented measures, this was the conclusion of the PES Financial and Economic Network videoconference today.

High-level representatives from PES member parties, MEPs and trade unionists held an open and frank discussion on coronavirus crisis responses at the national and European levels, and deliberated what further action is needed to prevent economic catastrophe.

Maria João Rodrigues, PES Economic and Financial Network chair and FEPS President, said:

“COVID-19 is blocking joint human activities and triggering a big economic and social crisis with supply and demand falling at the same time. Progressives are working towards bold measures and a strong strategy to ensure that a dangerous downward spiral does not follow, destroying the economy and with it millions of jobs and SMEs.

“National measures are the first step in ensuring that the effects of this symmetrical shutdown of the European economy will be mitigated smoothly. But we must see collective action at the EU level to support our economies too.

“The EU needs an ambitious economic recovery plan that will help states and the economy reboot in a fair and sustainable way. Now is the time to re-evaluate existing fiscal rules, to examine the role of the financial sector, and to come up with coordinated European policies and tools.”

The meeting took place ahead of an online meeting of the leaders of the PES member parties, scheduled for tomorrow. The discussion today was focused on how to strengthen member states’ public health sectors, the importance of keeping supply chains open, and what measures are needed to keep the European economy afloat, including how these can contribute to a fairer and more sustainable economy in the long-term.

Financial liquidity, state aid, financial assistance, the reactivation of the European Financial Stability Mechanism, ‘corona bonds’ and the European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme were among the extraordinary measures under consideration at the meeting.

At European level, leaders and ministers are already relaxing fiscal rules that have been the dogma in Europe for over a decade. The PES has welcomed moves to increase fiscal room for member states and has led calls for an ambitious economic recovery plan to support the European economy in a fair and sustainable way.

The following took part in the videoconference:

  • Maria João Rodrigues, FEPS President, meeting Chair

  • Pedro Marques MEP, S&D and PES Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Aurore Lalucq MEP, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Pierre Larrouturou MEP, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Victor Negrescu MEP, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Joachim Schuster MEP, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Paul Tang MEP, S&D Group in the European Parliament

  • John Crombez MP, sp.a

  • Antton Rönnholm, Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party on Finland

  • Ioannis Dalmas, EU Secretary, Movement for Change, Greece
  • Franz Danner, Department of International Affairs, SPD Germany
  • Emanuele Felice, International Secretary for Economics, PD Italy
  • Tero Shemeikka, International Secretary, SDP Finland
  • Luciano Vecchi, International Secretary, PD Italy
  • John Hilary, Head of International Liaison, UK Labour Party
  • Peter Hug, International Secretary, SDP Switzerland

  • Jos Bertrand, European Senior Organisation
  • Jose Santoro, Secretary General Rainbow Rose

  • Dieter Berckvens, Advisor, sp.a, Belgium
  • Cecilie Lerche Moller Hansen, Advisor, SD Denmark
  • Plamen Milev, Economist, BSP Bulgaria
  • Nat O’Connor, Political director, Labour Ireland
  • Alex Reuter, Advisor, PS Belgium
  • Cedrik Schmidtke, Advisor, PS Belgium
  • Christophe Soil, Advisor, PS Belgium
  • Oyvind Groslie Wennesland, Advisor, Norwegian Labor Party

  • Maj Louise Jensen Christensen, Head of Secretariat for the Danish S&D Delegation, SD Denmark
  • Anna Colombo, Political Advisor, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Corina Daniela Popa, Political Adviser, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Stéphanie Boon, Advisor to Aurore Lalucq MEP
  • Michel Cermak, Advisor to Pierre Larrouturou MEP
  • Julia Freidl, Advisor to Evelyn Regner MEP
  • Michel Genet, Advisor to Pierre Larrouturou MEP
  • Nuno Filipe Araujo De Almeida De Eca Guimaraes, Advisor to Margarida Marques MEP
  • Leonie Rinke, Advisor to Dr Joachim Schuster MEP
  • Pawel Wisniewski, Advisor to Marek Belka MEP
  • Arzu Yasar, Advisor to Aurore Lalucq MEP
  • Matthieu Hornung, Political Adviser, CoR 
  • Olga Fotinou, Political Adviser, CoR
  • Ainara Bascunana, Head of Office of the President, FEPS
  • Justin Nogarede, Digital Policy Adviser, FEPS

  • Matthieu Meaulle, Advisor, ETUC 

  • Filippos Sachinidis, Former Minister of Finance, Movement for Change (Greece)
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES
  • Constantin Kourkoulas, Head of EU Policy Unit, PES