Sylvie Brunet: "We are stronger together, united and in solidarity".
Particularly vigilant to the economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on fragile populations, French MEP Sylvie Brunet, Vice-President of the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament, explains her daily action within this institution.
"The future is European. Because we are stronger together, united and in solidarity. And therefore without this European solidarity, we cannot manage to achieve a Europe of health, which is now, as we can see, indispensable, a Europe of Human Rights, a social Europe, an economic Europe.
Relocating only to France seems unthinkable to me at the industrial level. We are obliged to weigh up against the American continent, the United States, China and all these powers. And if we want to win in these values - we share values in Europe - we have to be together and the only future is Europe.
I have been involved in these employment and social issues for years. We all know that extreme poverty is increasing.
The most vulnerable are more affected by the crisis: women, young people, people who were already vulnerable. And therefore, it is important to know that in France one third of food aid is financed by Europe. This is a subject of great vigilance that I would say I am fighting for, including at the level of the Commission. I have already taken the floor at a meeting we had, a hearing of the President, Ursula von der Leyen, but also with the Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Nicolas Schmit, and others so that we do not forget the most disadvantaged by improving this integration mechanism as surely as possible.
There is not only food aid, there is everything related to health care. I am in permanent contact with the four major associations, organisations that collect and distribute food aid: Les Restos du Coeur, the Food Bank, Secours Populaire and the Red Cross. It's a beautiful subject.
There has been a 30% increase in needs, unfortunately, over the last few months, particularly in my home town and where I live, which is Marseille.
In the case of the recovery plan with what we call Next Generation EU, which is a programme really focused on "How are we going to accompany Member States? "In the case of this end of the crisis, the recovery that is planned for young people, for example, youth employment.
Notably with an improvement of the "Youth Guarantee" system, which is a really important system that is extremely used in France with the youth guarantee in local missions, which helps young people furthest away from employment to return to work.
We all know, unfortunately, throughout Europe, that young people are particularly affected by the crisis. They were already affected before. They were the ones most in difficulty. We still have a fairly high youth unemployment rate in Europe. And there, unfortunately, it is only going to get worse, especially in France and even more so in Spain and Italy.
So, we are in the process of setting up measures specifically to help and support young people. The situation is quite dramatic, so we have to be very, very vigilant".