During the February Plenary Session, the European Parliament will debate five topics regarding COVID-19. One concerns the EU’s mega aid plan for countries in difficulty: the Recovery and Resilience Fund of € 750 billion. What will be the vote of the sovereign parties of the right and the extreme left?
The question is legitimate because those parties voted against or abstained during the session of 11 January in the Economic and Monetary Committee.
It is strange to think that European parties do not find reasons for cohesion to help their countries to overcome the severe test of the pandemic with indispensable financial aid.
Until a few months ago these parties accused the EU of impoverishing states, with its policies of financial rigor. Some have also asked for the issuance of Eurobonds, ie European debt securities.
Others asked for a relaxation of the Maastricht parameters, those rules which are an orientation to preserve the solidity of the single European currency. And to express their discontent they staged street and political demonstrations, accusing the EU of wanting to kill the peoples of Europe.
The infamous pandemic has arrived. In addition to the tragedy of the numerous loss of life, the forecast of social and economic damage were the most terrible: 25% fall in GDP and unemployment at 30%. A war bulletin.
The European Commission immediately loosened budgetary constraints and authorized the state aid that was requested. The Central Bank continued to buy national bonds and EU financed research and new therapies and vaccines.
The latest data released by ECDC are the following:
Thanks to EU initiatives and national measures, The latest estimates indicate that GDP in Europe fell by 7%, the worst since the Second World War according to the IMF and unemployment fell by 8,5%.
These data, together with the debts accumulated so far by the member countries, suggest that in the absence of a recovery and resilience plan, Europe could not recover, with very serious risks of social and political stability.
It is this framework that requires a joint effort by all political and social forces to overcome this misfortune and yet another distance from the European Commission’s proposal, already signed by all 27 European countries, would be a signal that public opinion, already hit hard, could not tolerate. On Wednesday there will be the debate at 8.30 am which you can follow live from here.
The EP Plenary will also discuss the difficult situation in Myanmar, in Yemen, the visit of Borrell in Russia, the Circular Economy Strategy for Europe and the new rules for abortion in Poland.