BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

A new Marshall plan? MEPs debate coronavirus response

Comments
euronews_icons_loading
Statement of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to the European Parliament Plenary on the European coordinated response to Covid-19
Statement of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, to the European Parliament Plenary on the European coordinated response to Covid-19   -   Copyright  Etienne Ansotte/ EU
Text size Aa Aa

Just a fraction of the 705 MEPs were present in Brussels for a single day of the plenary: and only one topic of debate: the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The European Commission president, wearing protective gloves, said EU leaders should learn from the solidarity shown between neighbours.

"If there is something that is more contagious than this virus, it is love and compassion", von der Leyen said.

"And in the face of adversity, the people of Europe are showing how strong that can be: from luxury perfumers and vodka producers making sanitising gel to carmakers and fashion houses producing masks".

Votes will take place via email on measures including:

  • Stopping ghost flights in Europe

  • An Investment Initiative worth €37 billion

  • Access to a Solidarity Fund during public health emergencies

The centre-left is calling for bold measures, such as the so-called "corona bonds", but the idea of common debt issuance is not gaining traction across the political spectrum.

A new Marshall Plan

"We ask for a new Marshall Plan of for a common investment plan, financed by a common debt instrument that would contemplate the issuing of eurobonds, the activation of the European Stability Mechanism with a specific credit line without additional macroeconomic measures," the Spanish MEP Javier Moreno Sanchez, with the Socialists & Democrats.

"Pragmatism first," argued Derk Jan Eppink, a Dutch MEP for the ECR party.

"Companies and people urgently need cash. The best way to proceed is to urge national central banks to provide credit at zero interest rate. Bonds go to banks, but we need credit to go straight to citizens and companies".

This is not the final hurdle: all measures will also need the seal of approval of EU leaders.

Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.