Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 335

COVID-19: Reform Support Programme must be transformed into major recovery tool

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 27 aprile 2020

Statement on the Reform Support Programme by co-rapporteurs of the Budgetary Affairs and Economic and Monetary Affairs Committees.The health, economic and social situation in Europe is currently deteriorating rapidly. The COVID-19 pandemic might lead to unprecedented shocks to our economy and labour markets. The European Parliament, and in particular the Committee on Budgets (BUDG) and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), are at the forefront of the debate, working on instruments that would help Europe’s long-term recovery.
The BUDG-ECON co-rapporteurs Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D/ES) and Dragoş Pîslaru (Renew/RO) highlighted that “this crisis has clearly demonstrated the need to urgently deepen the Economic and Monetary Union and to improve the resilience of member states’ economies to sizeable shocks, both symmetric and asymmetric. European solidarity and a coordinated response are key to both an effective crisis strategy as well as a design of the post-crisis recovery.”“While present efforts and all the available means must foremost concentrate on addressing the immediate fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must lay down the foundations for recovery and equip our economies with the means to make both national economies and the EU stronger and more united. In this respect, the ambitious 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is part of a solution. Within the EU long-term budget, the Budgetary Instrument for Convergence and Competitiveness (BICC), which is to be integrated within the Reform Support Programme (RSP), will be one of the key instruments to strengthen”, the MEPs said.The Programme will be a tool to incentivise member states to implement structural reforms and pursue investments that will ensure EU welfare. It should strengthen and support the enlargement of the euro area, with reforms and investments building more resilience to shocks, coupled with direct support for accession towards the euro area. In addition, the technical assistance component will strengthen member states’ capacity to prepare and implement growth-sustaining administrative and structural reforms, and share valuable good practices across the EU.The MEPs also stressed that “BUDG and ECON will work expeditiously on the RSP in order for member states to be able to use this instrument also for post-crisis reconstruction. Our focus will be on stimulating the implementation of structural reforms in order to set the recovery on a sustainable path, unlocking the growth potential, adapting to current challenges, strengthening the adjustment capacity and supporting the process of upward economic and social convergence. The scope and size of this instrument must be significantly strengthened if we want to live up to the task that lies ahead. As to the scope, it is of utmost importance that reforms and investments are prioritised that make our health, social and economic systems more resilient. Regarding the overall size, the current budget (about EUR 17 billion over 7 years) must be beefed up to become macro-economically relevant. This could be achieved by exploring possible links between the BICC and external budgetary funding.”Finally, Members called “on the Commission and the Council to push forward a proposal on the MFF to endow the Reform Support Programme with adequate resources that could transform it into one of the major tools of the EU Recovery Plan post COVID-19 outbreak.”

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