The Parliament is committed to helping EU countries deal with the coronavirus and address the socio-economic impact of the outbreak.
Parliament adopted three proposals to help people and business tackle the crisis during an extraordinary plenary session on 26 March. The approved measures are:
- The Corona Response Investment Initiative: €37 billion from available EU funds will be channelled to people, regions and countries that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. The funds will go to healthcare systems, small and medium-sized firms, labour markets and other vulnerable parts of EU countries’ economies.
- The extension of the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies. The measures will make up to €800 million available for European countries in 2020.
- Temporarily suspending EU rules on airport slots. This will stop air carriers from operating empty flights during the pandemic.
Additional measures were adopted by Parliament during the extraordinary plenary session on 16-17 April:
- Maximum flexibility to channel EU structural funds not yet used to fight impact of Covid-19 on people
- Enhanced support to EU fishermen, aquaculture farmers and agri-food producers
- Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived will continue to provide assistance where it is most needed
In addition MEPs voted in favour of plans to free up more than €3 billion to support EU countries’ healthcare systems and adopted a resolution calling for a massive recovery package and a Coronavirus Solidarity Fund.
The proposals adopted by Parliament are part of the EU-coordinated response to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, set out by the European Commission on 13 March.
The measures announced by the Commission to address Covid-19 were welcomed by Parliament President David Sassoli.
President Sassoli said the Parliament was committed to getting these measures approved as soon as possible.
“Covid-19 obliges everyone to be responsible and to be cautious. It is a delicate moment for all of us. Parliament will continue to work to exercise its duties. No virus can block democracy.”
EU strategy to manage the outbreak
The Commission proposes measures to:
- Ensure the necessary supplies to health systems by preserving the integrity of the Single Market and of production and distribution chains
- Support people so that income and jobs are not affected disproportionally and to avoid permanent effects of the crisis
- Support firms and ensure that the liquidity of the financial sector can continue to support the economy
- Allow EU countries to act decisively in a coordinated way, including by relaxing rules on state aid and support measures