Coronavirus: EU support required to tackle job security, unemployment, Miriam Dalli says

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli says schemes targeting minimum income and unemployment could help families, workers, self-employed and small businesses with no sufficient sources of income

The coronavirus has led to an unprecedented economic crisis that is threatening jobs and livelihoods across the world
The coronavirus has led to an unprecedented economic crisis that is threatening jobs and livelihoods across the world

Workers, self-employed and small businesses need a protection net to sustain them at this time of crisis, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli said.

The European Commission should launch a temporary European minimum income scheme to support those in precarious employment, she said.

The proposal is one of several initiatives Dalli is working on as part of a task force set up by the Socialists and Democrats to address the impact of Covid-19 across the EU.

Dalli also urged the European Commission to speed up its proposal for a European fund – known as the unemployment reinsurance benefit scheme – to top up the national unemployment benefit schemes. 

“With such measures complementing the work being done at national level by member states such as Malta, citizens would have the peace of mind that the EU is truly supporting them in this time of need,” Dalli said.

Labour MEP Miriam Dalli
Labour MEP Miriam Dalli

She added that not knowing how long this pandemic will last, means that pressure on resources will increase.

These priorities will be included in the European Parliament’s cross-party proposals to the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be voted upon during the next plenary of the European Parliament, on 16 April. 

Addressing a remote meeting of the Socialists & Democrats, with the participation of some 150 MEPs, Dalli insisted that the S&D should be at the forefront to ensure that no gap is left for a North-South EU divide, with the southern member states being left to their own devices.

A 2014 research study conducted by the European Parliament found that the establishment of a common unemployment scheme in Europe, in the course of the 2008 economic and financial crisis, would have reduced the GDP loss in the most affected euro-area countries by €71 billion, equivalent to circa €17 billion a year.

Despite the pressure put forward by the European Parliament for years, it was only last October that the European Commission committed itself to present a proposal on the EU unemployment reinsurance scheme.

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