European Economic Stimulus Plan needed to combat the socio-economic effects of the coronavirus epidemic

11.03.2020 | European Parliament
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European Economic Stimulus Plan needed to combat the socio-economic effects of the coronavirus epidemic

MEP Iuliu Winkler (RMDSZ, EPP) drew attention to the fact that the coronavirus epidemic will produce an economic and social crisis in the EU, and Europe will need an Economic Stimulus Plan as effective as the one from 2008, which was intended to combat the effects of the global financial crisis.

“The spread of the coronavirus epidemic has already generated a public health crisis throughout the EU. The response to this crisis must be coordinated at European level. The measures taken at Member State level must be harmonized with European action, and solidarity is imperative. The public health crisis will induce two more crises on the EU, an economic and a social crisis. In a globalized economy it is very important for the EU to protect vulnerable people, but it is equally important to support the affected European companies”, said Winkler in his statement to the European Parliament during a Plenary debate in Brussels on the COVID-19 crisis and the related European response.

The RMDSZ MEP highlighted that, according to global estimates, the EU could shortly face a crisis comparable to the global financial crisis of 2008. “Therefore, the EU response must be the same as then, a consistent and well-targeted one. We need a European Economic Stimulus Plan based on the EU budget. In 2008, the European Economic Recovery Plan mobilized 200 billion euros, or 1.5% of the EU GDP, plus tens of billions of euros made available at national level by most Member States. This novel EU Plan, which should be funded by making the Stability and Growth Pact more flexible, will help European economies overcome the effects of the coronavirus epidemic, thus protecting European companies, jobs and citizens”, stated Iuliu Winkler in the statement.

In the same context, the MEP further stressed that the imminent economic crisis must motivate immediate action, triggering European solidarity that will overcome the discord between Member States in the negotiations of the future multi-annual budget of the EU for the 2021-2027 period. “The main beneficiaries of the European Economic Stimulus Plan should be the SMEs and those sectors most affected by the epidemic, such as transport and tourism. Massive investments in transport and communications infrastructure, but also in the field of energy efficiency, must be considered. The investments to be financed must be compatible with the sustainability criteria and the objectives of the European Green Deal”, added the RMDSZ MEP.