Beyond what is already being done, Europe needs a massive recovery and reconstruction package to be financed by an increased long-term budget (MFF), existing EU funds and financial instruments, as well as “recovery bonds” guaranteed by the EU budget, MEPs say. It should not, however, involve the mutualisation of existing debt, but focus on future investment. The European Green Deal and the digital transformation should be at its core in order to kick-start the economy.
Among what was approved by MEPs:
– An EU Coronavirus Solidarity Fund of at least EUR 50 billion and a permanent European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme;
– Economic reform should include “recovery bonds”, guaranteed by the EU budget;
– Greater powers for EU to act in the case of cross-border health threats, as a Joint European action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic remains indispensable;
– Borders must be kept open for essential goods to ensure that medicines and protective equipment, medical devices and food can circulate;
– The creation of a European Health Response Mechanism, to ensure a better response to any type of health or sanitary crisis in the future;
– The nedd of a coordinated post-lockdown approach, in order to avoid a resurgence of the virus;
– The creation of a European information source to ensure that all citizens have access to accurate and verified information.
MEPs also voiced strong concerns regarding:
-steps taken by the Hungarian government to prolong the country’s state of emergency indefinitely, to rule by decree without a time limit and to weaken the parliamentary emergency oversight.
-the Polish government’s decision to change the electoral code, which is unlawful. MPEs consider holding presidential elections in the middle of a pandemic to be totally incompatible with European values.
The text was adopted by 395 votes in favour, 171 against with 128 abstentions.