Today in an unprecedented plenary session, the European Parliament will pass three pieces of legislation aimed at fighting both the health and the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
MEPs will vote throughout the day with a remote system approved by all group leaders in the house. Only five S&D MEPs will physically be in the chamber in Brussels, to ensure the minimum required presence while respecting all the precautionary measures. All other MEPs will vote from home.
S&D Group president Iratxe García said:
“It is our responsibility to keep the Parliament running and contribute to the solutions to this crisis. The European Union can and must play a crucial role in limiting the effects of the crisis and preparing for the economic recovery.
“Today we will approve the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which will make available €37 billion of cohesion funds. It is a set of specific measures to mobilise investment mainly in the national health care systems so that they are stronger to fight the pandemic and save lives, but also in other economic sectors.
“We will also back the financial assistance to member states and countries negotiating their accession to the Union, because we are in this together. This will be done through the extension of the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies. The more we coordinate, the sooner we will be able to stop the spread of the virus.
“We will also adapt the rules for the use of slots in EU airports so that the airlines will not lose their slots by not using them, and thus avoid the so-called ‘ghost-flights’, unnecessary pollution and extra costs accrued by a severely hit sector.”
Later this morning Iratxe García will participate in a videoconference of the Progressive leaders ahead of the European Council this afternoon.