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Parliamentary questions
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25 March 2020
Priority question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Mick Wallace
 Subject: Stability and Growth Pact and EU Member State responses to COVID-19

A report published last month found that the Commission made no less than 63 demands of Member States to cut spending on healthcare provision and/or outsource or privatise health services from 2011-2018 in order to meet the arbitrary debt and deficit targets of the Stability and Growth Pact. Now, the capacity of EU Member States to respond to the COVID-19 crisis is significantly diminished. The real risk of healthcare system capacity being exceeded across the EU is very high, as identified by the ECDC, and this capacity is already saturated in some regions that now rely on international solidarity from China and Cuba. In the country-specific recommendations from the Commission under the Stability and Growth Pact, the Commission has continuously singled out healthcare for cuts, second only to cuts to pension funding.

1. Will the Commission commit to stop singling out healthcare for budget cuts in its country-specific recommendations?

2. Does the Commission acknowledge the consequences of such demands from its country-specific recommendations on the EU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis?

3. In the review of the Stability and Growth Pact – which in my opinion must be abolished as it enshrines neoliberalism in the EU – how will this issue be addressed?

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