Published: Wed, 27 May 2020
The five Fine Gael MEPs have welcomed today’s (Wednesday) €750 billion Recovery Package proposals presented by the EU Commission to the Parliament, in addition to a €1.1 trillion long-term budget, and they are urging EU leaders to work towards an agreement in order to ensure European citizens and businesses can benefit without delay.
Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness, Deirdre Clune, Frances Fitzgerald and Maria Walsh said today provided some clarity on what the EU Recovery Package could do to relieve some of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis. However, the MEPs warned that the details do need to be examined by the EU Parliament and Member States before any agreement can be reached and measures are adopted in order to be in place by 2021.
Speaking of behalf of the MEPs, the Leader of Fine Gael in the EU Parliament, Mr Kelly, said: “The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen has presented the Parliament with a recovery plan called Next Generation EU through €500 billion in grants and €250 billion in loans to Member States to fund an economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. It means Member States will get EU level grants to support much-needed investments in the economy based on a recovery plan to be developed by the Government.
“The recovery package is in addition to a €1.1 trillion long-term budget, the Multi-Annual Financial Framework, through which EU programmes invest funds into Member States and to benefit States over the next 7 years. This MFF proposal includes increases for vital programmes such as the Common Agricultural Policy, the Just Transition Fund and InvestEU.
“All of these measures need to be analysed, discussed and ratified by the EU Parliament and agreed by EU leaders before they can come into effect. However, as we in the Parliament will do so constructively, we would urge EU leaders to come to the table in the spirit of solidarity and to work towards an agreement that can benefit our citizens and businesses as soon as possible.”
The five MEPs who are Members of the European People’s Party grouping in the Parliament also particularly welcomed a very positive focus on the Health sector included in the proposals with a new standalone EU4Health programme, with a budget of €9.4 billion. It will cover prevention, crisis preparedness, the procurement of vital medicines and equipment and improving long-term health outcomes. While other key programmes will be reinforced to learn the lessons from the crisis, notably rescEU and Horizon.
“This is a time of crisis and unprecedented, new and innovative ways are needed to lessen the economic and societal impact”, added Mr Kelly.
“President von der Leyen rightly focused on Europe’s next generation, that’s important as we do not want to overly burden the next generation. We want to ensure the EU is future-proofed and able to deal with any future crises in unity and solidarity.”