The Group of the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament has today proposed to the institutions of the European Union and to the member countries an ambitious Solidarity Pact to combat the coronavirus and its consequences on all fronts opened in this crisis, deploying measures for a total value that could reach 1 trillion euros.
This Pact of 60 measures -approved today and which includes the priorities expressed by the PP Delegation in its Action Plan announced a few days ago- is articulated in five axes with numerous measures that seek to give a united response from the EU to the health challenge that raises the coronavirus, giving priority to the descent of those infected; to help health workers, families and companies most affected by this crisis; to guarantee essential infrastructures, strategic industrial sectors; and to prepare the EU for future pandemics now.
The PP Spokesperson in the European Parliament, Dolors Montserrat, He assured that this "is the most ambitious pact in history to combat this unprecedented crisis with solidarity and without leaving anyone behind, both immediately and in the long term."
“The PPE Group makes a solidarity proposal for all EU countries, especially Italy and Spain. This solidarity must reach families in need, health professionals, SMEs, self-employed workers and everyone who is having a lot of difficulties at the moment, "he added.
"The time has come for Sánchez to also put in place all the necessary measures to protect our toilets and the population and not to leave anyone behind," Montserrat stressed.
The main measures included in the European Solidarity Pact are:
- Establish an EU Medical Coordination and Response Unit to quickly move medical equipment and health personnel to the areas of Europe most affected by outbreaks of the disease, as well as to transfer patients from one country to another if necessary.
- Ban any blockages on the export of medical equipment from one country to another in the EU, such as ventilators or protective equipment; as well as promoting the production of this type of materials.
- Promote joint EU research to achieve an effective coronavirus vaccine or treatment.
- Guarantee the protection in these circumstances of the most vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children, people with disabilities or women victims of gender violence.
- Establish safe routes and procedures to guarantee the return to the EU of EU citizens who are in third countries.
- Coordinate the imposition and lifting of measures such as confinement or restriction of movements in the most affected areas to avoid negative consequences in other areas, paying special attention to border regions and the situation of cross-border workers.
- Guarantee the operation of the agri-food and fisheries sector, using the possibilities of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and promoting measures to ensure that the sector has enough personnel to maintain production, and also taking into account temporary and cross-border workers.
- Declare professionals in the transport sector as essential workers, offering them specific protection that includes rest areas with the necessary safety and sanitary conditions.
- Ensure that opposition political forces, as well as the media, can freely access information on the evolution of the crisis; and that the dialogue between institutions and the accountability of governments in national parliaments are maintained.
- Use all financial resources in the current European budget to financially assist the most affected regions and economic sectors; and promote the emergency support instrument proposed by the European Commission.
- Create a new European Solidarity Fund to deal with the coronavirus; and support the creation of new economic instruments or the new use of existing instruments for the benefit of the most affected countries, using the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to strengthen health systems and to provide liquidity to refloat the economy.
- Support the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) in their willingness to do what is necessary to face the economic dimension of this crisis, promoting measures to create a shield in favor of workers and our SMEs, supporting the SURE initiative of the European Commission, as well as unemployment reinsurance.
- Promote a strategy in favor of European tourism to ensure that the EU continues to be the first tourist destination in the world
Looking ahead, the main specific measures included in the Solidarity Pact are:
- Achieve an early warning system for possible new pandemics in the future, establishing a European health agency that allows a coordinated response and creating a permanent panel of experts in viruses such as Covid-19.
- Create a European Fund that allows EU member states to strengthen their health services and hospital infrastructure in the coming years.
- Create strategic reserves of the necessary material to face future coronavirus crises.
- Combat the possible causes of virus transmission from animals to humans, also initiating a dialogue with countries such as China regarding wild animal markets.