The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today launched a Recovery Plan to tackle the immediate economic and social aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and lay the grounds for a sustainable common future of shared prosperity, well-being and resilience. This latest initiative follows up on a 15-Point-Action-Plan put forward by the S&D Group as rapid crisis response measures in March and comes ahead of a plenary debate with resolution is scheduled for next week.
S&D Group leader Iratxe García said:
“Europe is aching for an ambitious European recovery plan to tackle the dire economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. People and companies need a protective shield against the looming recession - a 1.5 trillion Euro European stimulus package. But spending the money right is not enough, we also must spend it smart. By fully aligning stimulus policies with the Green Deal, the Pillar of Social Rights and the United Nation’s SGDs, we can push for radical change, make Europe more resilient against coming crises and build a fair and sustainable society. The crisis exposed the fragility of our common economic and social governance capabilities and instruments when a strong public response is the only answer. The Recovery Plan is Europe’s chance to rise to the challenge. We call on the Commission and European leaders to be bold and innovative.”
S&D vice-president in charge of Parliamentary affairs and inter-institutional relations, Simona Bonafè, said:
“For a rapid re-start of economic activity after the peak of the crisis and to keep job losses low, we need a stimulus package equivalent to the loss of GDP growth, including an updated Multi-annual Financial Framework proposal and a European Fund of at least 1.5 trillion Euro. The fund urgently must become operational. The hardest hit sectors in the most affected regions must be provided with a life-line to ensure they don’t have to fire workers or close-down before recovery kicks in. The severity of the crisis cannot be tackled with loans only, EU action in form of grants is needed as well as strong EU own resources. We call on the Commission to urgently revise its Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy to ensure that crisis support measures are conductive to our social and environmental goals.”
The S&D Group calls on the Commission to include the ten following pathways into an urgently needed European-wide economic, social and ecological recovery plan. Pathways one to five focus on the more immediate responses to the crisis, and six to ten on building a truly sustainable and resilient common future.
1 A temporary European economic and social stimulus package, including an updated Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) proposal as part of a comprehensive European Recovery Plan including a European Fund of at least €1.5 trillion, must be commensurate with the large-scale damages inflicted on our companies and their workers, on our social welfare systems and on the well-being of the most vulnerable
2 The effective European-wide coordination of European and national stimulus policies must be grounded in the European Green Deal, the European Pillar of Social Rights and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including in Europe’s strategy to become climate-neutral and honour its obligations under the Paris Agreement, none of which should be delayed as the transformation into a de-carbonised, circular and environmentally sustainable European economy and society is essential for our future
3 Financial and fiscal support measures must be fair, transparent and fully in line with the Union’s climate and environmental objectives and effective in achieving social and tax justice
4 The EU and Member States must fight the surge in unemployment, inequalities, regional divergences, poverty and social exclusion during the pandemic
5 The crisis response must be gender-sensitive and avoid new gender inequalities
6 The fiscal stimulus package and temporary recovery measures need to make way to permanent economic resilience that build on social progress and ecological sustain- ability after the crisis
7 The crisis must give way to a far-reaching European social recovery towards sustainable well-being, social progress and robust social welfare systems
8 The transformation into a de-carbonised, circular and environmentally sustainable sound European economy and society is essential for our future and must be the blueprint for the recovery
9 European digital and industrial strategies need to draw the lessons from this crisis and contribute decisively to the recovery, to future resilience and to sustainability, notably thanks to increased support towards research and innovation, and by being fully in line with the European Green Deal, as well as through strengthened social dialogue and workplace democracy
10 Stimulating fair and sustainable trade and spearheading a global transformation towards a truly sustainable and crisis-free future for humankind.