MEPs of the Budgetary Committee in the European Parliament have urged the EU Commission and Council for the adoption of a coordinated and bold response to the Coronavirus emergency, as the EU27 bloc is considered the epicentre of the outbreak.
They stressed the need for a comprehensive financial and budgetary package that will respond to the unprecedented health challenge, but will also protect both EU citizens and businesses, in particular SMEs.
As EU leaders are meeting on Thursday for another virtual summit on COVID-19, the members and Chairs of the Budget Committee requested that the two institutions mobilise the almost €4 bn of unallocated flexibilities in the 2020 budget, ensure the flexible use of EU cohesion funds, and focus on the use of around €3 bn of budgetary surplus from 2019, for COVID-19 related purposes, preferably at EU level.
“The Union budget is part of the solution to overcome the public health and economic shock, in complementarity with the national budgets and initiatives from the European Central Bank, the European Investment Bank,” said the Budget MEPs.
Future negotiations among EU leaders will need to focus on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2017, namely EU’s long-term budget, said MEPs, requesting from EU’s Executive Body to take into account the “new needs and challenges deriving from a post-Corona world,” and to update its MFF proposal.