Adoption of an assistance plan to combat the Coronavirus
Democracy also carries on at the European level: for the first time, the European Parliament met remotely on 26 March for a special COVID-19 session in response to the health, social and economic crisis affecting all European states and most countries in the world.
A €37 billion aid package was approved almost unanimously by MEPs. The European Parliament also allowed the use of the EU Solidarity Fund originally earmarked for natural disasters. Its level of intervention has been raised. It is now €100 million that can be deployed immediately to Member States that request it.
These funds complete the exceptional measures taken by the European Union since the beginning of the crisis to limit the economic impact of this epidemic: the authorisation of massive use of national public aid, the temporary suspension of budgetary rules, the announcement of a €750 billion plan for the repurchase of public and private debt by the European Central Bank. The European Parliament will remain vigilant with regard to restrictions on the free movement of goods in the Union.
The Vice-President of the Renew Group and French MEP Sylvie Brunet stressed that: "We can only overcome this crisis by acting in a coordinated manner with our European partners. Citizens must be able to count on the European Union to do this. Beyond the large amounts of money released today, it is this message of unity and solidarity that the European Parliament's vote conveys".
Basque MEP Izaskun Bilbao Barandica emphasised that "Today we know that we would have overcome this threat more effectively with more European tools. In particular, I believe that if there is a next time, the States must accept that the Union should define progressive measures to be respected in order to react in the same way to identical epidemiological situations. »
Desde Bermeo participando en el pleno de @Europarl_ES Hoy voto telemático para aprobar el primer plan de 38.000 millones contra el #COVID19 Apoyando los "coronabonos" https://t.co/UHzYOOMBjC para financiar un plan social y de reactivación @RenewEurope @PDE_EDP @eajpnv pic.twitter.com/cgyFIN01xi— Izaskun Bilbao (@IzaskunBilbaoB) March 26, 2020
🇪🇺🗳Vote à distance ce matin et pour la bonne cause. Le Parlement européen vote Ie déblocage de 37 milliards d’€ de fonds régionaux qui seront mis à disposition au plus près des besoins pour faire face à la crise #COVID19 pour le matériel de santé, l aide aux soignants, aux PME pic.twitter.com/RUuNTSpJNs— Laurence Farreng (@laurencefarreng) March 26, 2020