Renew Europe MEPs today backed steps, via an urgent procedure, to release over €3 billion from the EU budget to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, channelled mainly through the Emergency Support Initiative (€2.7 billion) and through rescEU, (€380 million).The package also includes additional funds for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (€3.6 million).
The money will be used to directly alleviate the regions hit hardest by Covid-19 and to help EU countries manage the public health crisis and secure vital equipment and supplies, from ventilators to personal protective gear. A second area of focus would be on enabling the scaling up of testing efforts.
Valérie Hayer (Renaissance, FR), Renew Europe Group's spokesperson for budgetary affairs said:
"I welcome the activation of this emergency support, as we requested in early March. This money will be essential for increasing the production and the purchase of medical products but also for mass testing, with a particular focus on the most affected Member States. The economies of scale will be significant, further proving the relevance of EU action when Europe-wide crises happen. It also proves that we must provide the next EU long-term budget with more flexibility to respond to future crises."
Clotilde Armand (USR, RO), shadow rapporteur commented:
“The package of measures triggered by the EU to face the Coronavirus crisis is both unprecedented and sizeable – almost 20% of the EU PIB. Among all those measures, the EU Budget is the only way to directly help national economies without repayment obligations."
"I am happy that there has been a strong political will to overcome the East-West and North-South divides as we managed to mobilise almost totally the remaining liquidity in the current 2014 -2020 budget. The true effort is lying in front of us - it will consist in building a new enhanced 2021-2027 budget, making it a strong tool to finance the recovery of our economy. The next EU budget must have the financial capacity matching the needs and the ambitions of the EU citizens.”
Moritz Körner (FDP, D) said: "The additional financial aid through the reactivation of the Emergency Support Instrument was crucial to support Member States in fighting against the consequences of the Corona-crisis. In this way, the EU is supporting an EU wide supply of necessary resources and provides European assistance to our economy and health systems. The next Multi-Annual Financial Framework must be better prepared for crises such as the Covid19-Pandemic and enable a new economic upturn by investing in our future."
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