Tonight at 20:00, the European Parliament will vote on a series of emergency measures to financially support Member States and regions affected by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). The Greens/EFA group welcome the measures, which will see €37 billion mobilised for investment in healthcare products and services necessary for bolstering the crisis response, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the labour market.
Ska Keller MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"European solidarity needs to play an important role in tackling this crisis. We need to learn from each other, use common procurement and send medical and financial help where it is needed most, also across borders. The emergency measures voted today are an important first step – but this can only be the start towards providing crucial support for those exposed most to the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.
"We must especially protect the most vulnerable in our society, including homeless people, people living in extreme poverty and the thousands of refugees stranded on the Greek islands in very unsanitary conditions. And we must ensure that European solidarity does not end at EU borders: financial, technical and medical support should also be extended to the countries that are working to join the EU in the future.
"All over Europe, people are showing amazing acts of solidarity, helping each other in these days. Europeans are uniting in their hearts and we need to make sure that governments are uniting in their actions as well."
Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"The economic impact of this crisis will be severe, which is why the measures agreed today must only make up part of a broader response scheme. To help the hardest hit countries, we need Eurobonds, so that Italy and other countries can get back on their feet and further economic turmoil in the Eurozone can be prevented. The ESM needs to be opened up to minimize the job losses, provide support to unemployed people and companies and to provide the economy with the strength it needs to come out of this crisis.
"No region in Europe will remain untouched by this pandemic, which is why EU action must reach every region. Today's measures show the value of EU cooperation, but they must also lay the ground work for more European action, in order to support citizens and governments in getting through this crisis."