COVID-19: Progressives urge Eurogroup to adopt far-reaching Economic Recovery Plan

16/03/2020

COVID-19

A monitor shows a map with the number of cases of the COVID-19 Coronavirus as a man works at the Emergency Operations Centre in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Solna, Sweden. Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

PES President Sergei Stanishev, S&D President Iratxe Garcia, and Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions, have today written to the Eurogroup calling for action to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe.

The letter welcomes the steps that have already been taken by the Commission and European Central Bank, but sets out further progressive measures that must now be taken:

“…we call for a European-wide COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, with a consolidated and coherent strategy for the rapid mobilisation of the different available EU instruments to support people, SMEs and businesses…

“The equity of the European Investment Bank must be increased, and most importantly, the potential offered by the European Stability Mechanism must be used through a mandatory credit line to finance a common investment instrument. We call on the EUROGROUP to come forward with a proper stimulus package agreed at the European level.”

To protect people’s livelihoods and their health, the letter also urges the EU to take steps to guarantee that nobody has to choose between protecting themselves and their loved ones, or keeping their job. The EU needs to urgently build up its fiscal capacity and to implement an Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme to address any socioeconomic shock that EU countries face because of the pandemic.

We – the PES, S&D and PES Group in the CoR - believe that those battling COVID-19 and its effects need to feel that the EU is doing whatever it takes to protect them. The EU must send a strong signal of unity and solidarity. With the right response, the EU can come out of this difficult period even stronger.

Read the full letter here.