Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 220

Corona Crisis: 10 proposals by the European Federalists

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 9 aprile 2020

The last weeks have seen the Coronavirus crisis spreading throughout Europe, which has become the world epicentre of the pandemic. Europeans are facing, together, the most severe crisis since the Second World War. For these reasons, the Union of European Federalists calls for the following urgent and longer term measures:
1. It is essential to ensure the unity of the European Union and its internal market. We should reverse, as soon as possible, all decisions to reintroduce internal border restrictions between Schengen countries, which do not help stopping the virus since outbreaks are regional rather than national but risk jeopardising the smooth functioning of services, such as food provision and health care, that are all the more essential in this moment.
2. The European Commission should also be given the power to issue rules applicable across the EU on measures to be applied by member states to combat the virus;
3. A European research consortium should be set to work together as a team to find a vaccine as quickly as possible. EU funding allocated to different research projects is a welcome move, but there is significant added-value in developing joint EU efforts rather than national parallel ones;
4. The Eurozone should immediately adopt a series of extraordinary and coordinated fiscal measures to mitigate the effects of the current crisis and its consequences on the European economy. The ECB’s government bond buying programme is an essential move but it will not be enough to keep borrowing costs for the most affected member states within tolerable levels. If there has ever been a time for a European response to avoid another long recession, this is it;
5. The Eurozone must now quickly advance to introduce real European bonds, raising affordable new capital to address the immediate spending need of the European Union and member states to contract the crisis;
6. The scope of the European Stability Mechanism should be enlarged to finance the immediate strengthening of the European and national health systems to cope with the health and environmental crisis, which threaten the lives of European citizens, and thus also the economic and financial stability of the EU. The Eurogroup must activate ESM’s support for all affected member states without attaching additional conditionality to it;
7. The Council should immediately approve a sufficient Multi-annual Financial Framework increasing the budget to at least 1,3% of the EU GDP, as requested by the European Parliament, plus any resources raised through the European Recovery Bonds, and allowing more flexibility, in particular to make it possible to launch a comprehensive European anti-crisis spending plan;
In the longer term:
8. The EU should be provided with fiscal autonomy at European level based on the right to directly raise and spend its own resources – such as the carbon tax, the digital tax or the financial transaction tax;
9. The EU should be entrusted with real competences in the field of public health which should be a shared competence between the EU and its Member States;
10. The planned Conference on the future of Europe should be turned into a fully-fledged European Convention to draft a new Constitutional Pact to answer current and future European challenges.
The EU and its member states are going through a decisive test, of effectiveness and solidarity, which will profoundly affect the perception that citizens have of our Union for a long time to come. All at once, the Coronavirus crisis is an opportunity to address the shortcomings of the Union. We must urgently leverage on the lessons learned during the management of the Great Recession of 2008-2018, when the citizens paid dearly for the lack of solidarity at European level, and develop a European answer to the Coronavirus threat and its economic and social impact to transform the European Union into a federal Union that is a community of solidarity with a shared destiny.

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