European Parliament approves measures to fight consequences of COVID-19

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BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – Members of the European Parliament approved a package of emergency measures, proposed by the European Commission, to overcome the economic crisis in the EU caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the framework of the coordinated EU response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MEPs approved three urgent proposals, these are extraordinary measures to help individuals and businesses overcome the crisis,” says the Parliament statement. European published at the end of the plenary session held remotely.

The urgent measures package previously proposed by the European Commission includes, in particular, assistance to European companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, as well as measures to prevent unemployment for a total amount of 37,000 million euros.
“These measures aim to mobilize up to 37 billion euros of European funds as soon as possible, which will be used to support the citizens, regions and countries most affected by the pandemic,” the document says.
In addition, the deputies supported the proposal to expand the EU Solidarity Fund to cover health emergencies.

“These measures will allow allocating up to 800 million euros to European countries in 2020, as well as expanding the Fund’s support criteria,” added the statement.

The Council of the EU must now support the initiatives taken by Parliament, which will come into force after their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Videoconference of EU leaders

“The COVID-19 pandemic affects people and societies around the world and will have a lasting impact on the world economy and trade,” says a statement from EU leaders released at the end of a video conference.

In this regard, the leaders of the EU countries asked the Eurogroup, the Council of Ministers of Finance of the euro area, to present in the next two weeks proposals to combat the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic.
The Summit also highlighted the need to create a strategy to overcome this situation.
“We must begin to prepare the necessary measures to return to the normal functioning of our societies and economies and to sustainable growth,” the statement said.

EU leaders stressed the need to develop a “coordinated exit strategy” from the current situation and a “comprehensive recovery plan” as well as “unprecedented investments”.

EU heads of state also called on the European Commission to step up efforts to provide the EU with the necessary medical equipment.

At the same time, the EU intends to step up efforts to develop a vaccine against the virus.

“There is an urgent need to exchange scientific information and collaborate both within the EU and around the world to solve the vaccine problem as soon as possible and make it accessible to all who need it, without geographical barriers. We will expand and accelerate our support for European companies and research groups in this regard, “adds the note.

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