New EU funds for Corona fight, reconstruction, medical devices
17 Apr 2020
Esteban González Pons
This is the moment of now or never.
A front-loaded recovery package for Europe’s economy.
People are looking at us, they are looking for solutions
Making up for lost time, the EU mobilises on medical devices.
Europe can learn from its mistake, be better, and deliver.
The European Parliament mobilises an unprecedented 3 billion Euros of the EU Budget to help Member States cope with the consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak. MEPs make it easier to use EU money for regional projects and postpone new rules for medical devices to speed up production of respiratory ventilators and facemasks.
More European collaboration, less nationalism and more efficiency in decision-making are the lessons to be learned from the current pandemic, says the EPP Group.
Esteban González Pons, EPP Group Vice Chair
This is the time to show that Europeanism is also effective, that it can also be epic, that Europeanism can be patriotic, that Europeanism also be human. It is the time to demonstrate that borders will never be a solution. If the European Union does not serve to face a pandemic that can affect the continent, what is it for?
…This is the moment of now or never.
Parliament also backs expanding the use of European Structural and Investment Funds for Europe’s neediest. No matching national funds required.
Roberta Metsola, Maltese MEP
European economic packages mean millions of jobs will be saved. But there are still far too many people who slip through the cracks, who find no one to turn to. We must address them too, to be flexible and continue to adapt. 12:46
Looking toward Europe’s reconstruction after the Corona crisis, Parliament supports an amended EU budget plan for 2020.
Siegfried Mureșan, EPP Group Vice Chair
Our response, the European response, has already made a difference on the ground. We have proven that solidarity can win over selfishness, and we can help European people in need.
But I say more is needed, this is just the beginning and we should plan for the future, colleagues.
Among the measures: short-term financing under the 400 billion-euro European Stability Mechanism set up after the 2008 financial crisis.
Reacting to the shortage of medical supplies, Parliament wants to reduce dependence on third countries. To speed production, the EPP Group is calling for a one-year postponement of tougher rules on medical equipment.
Underlining the need, the EPP Group’s Esther de Lange spoke of her sister, who’s a doctor.
Esther de Lange, EPP Group Vice Chair
What she needs right now is face masks. What she needs is protective equipment, and she needs a Europe with a heart that shows her that they can deliver.
The EPP Group is also calling for a new fund for better hospitals.
I propose the creation of a 50-billion-euro fund which should improve the situation of the hospitals in every corner of Europe and make sure that wherever they live in the European Union, people receive good health care. 19:46
Laura BarriosEPP TV Assistant ProducerBelgiumlaura.firstname.lastname@example.org+322-2841845