More EU action needed to fight Coronavirus
10 Mar 2020
The crisis is very serious. I´m very concerned, especially what happens in Italy.
The EPP Group’s Peter Liese on the coronavirus. A doctor himself, he´s a member of the European Parliament´s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. He wants more EU action on prevention as well as economic stimulus.
We need much more European coordination. The European Centre for Disease Control - ECDC - needs much more staff as soon as possible.
And then of course we need to cooperate when it comes to treatment and vaccination.
While health policy is a national responsibility, the EPP Group says the EU should coordinate restrictions on travel, schools and public events. And the EU should combine efforts, such as with supplies of drugs.
The EPP Group had already asked weeks before, when we didn´t know that the Coronavirus is a problem in Europe, that we need to deal with the shortage of drugs. 3:47 This problem affects every citizen and should be the highest possible priority. Member States should work together so the shortage of supply can immediately be overcome.
Liese says the crisis adds further urgency to the need for ´´medical sovereignty´´ - for Europe to reduce its dependency on other countries for drugs and medical supplies.
We need legislative action. There needs to be an incentive, or maybe even an obligation, that we are not so dependent on one and only factory in China or India.
On the economic impact, Liese and EPP Group Vice Chair Esther de Lange call for a more flexible interpretation of EU state aid rules to help companies hurting from the crisis. And money from EU institutions like the European Fund for Strategic Investments and the European Investment Bank.
We need to be all hands on deck, we should be making sure that we use all the flexibility that we have within our Stability and Growth Pact, that we use all the financial means that we have in the EFSI fund, cheap loans from the EIB, especially to small and medium enterprises. :50
Laura BarriosEPP TV Assistant ProducerBelgiumlaura.firstname.lastname@example.org+322-2841845