MEPs call for €50 billion EU COVID-19 solidarity fund

MEPs want to see a massive recovery package and solidarity fund to support the European economy after the coronavirus crisis

MEPs on Friday called for a massive EU response to the COVID-19 crisis
MEPs on Friday called for a massive EU response to the COVID-19 crisis

MEPs have stressed the need for a joint European response to the coronavirus crisis, calling for a "massive recovery package" and an EU coronavirus solidarity fund of at least €50 billion.

In a resolution adopted on Friday, the European Parliament welcomed the EU’s fiscal measures and liquidity support to address the pandemic, but insisted that 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.

The MEPs underlined that the EU 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, MEPs stressed.

The MEPs said that a permanent European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme should be estabished, and an EU Coronavirus Solidarity Fund of at least €50 billion should be put in place. 

This fund would support the financial efforts undertaken by the healthcare sectors in all member states during the current crisis, as well as future investments in order to make healthcare systems more resilient and focused on those most in need.

Coordinated post-lockdown approach needed

MEPs also underscored the need for a coordinated post-lockdown approach in the EU, in order to avoid a resurgence of the virus. 

They urged EU countries to jointly develop criteria for lifting the quarantine and other emergency measures, and asked the European Commission to launch an effective exit strategy that includes large-scale testing and the provision of personal protective equipment for the largest possible number of citizens.