Health

MEPs back €2T coronavirus recovery plan

The European Parliament on Friday urged the European Commission to set up a €2 trillion investment package to tackle the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic that would provide “mostly” grants and be financed through recovery bonds.

A total of 505 MEPs voted in favor and 119 against a nonbinding resolution that calls for a recovery fund to be on top of the EUs long-term budget, financed “through the issuance of long-dated recovery bonds” and “disbursed through loans and, mostly, through grants, direct payments for investment and equity.”

It also warns the Commission against the use of “financial wizardry and dubious multipliers” when coming up with figures for the plan. Nevertheless, the Parliaments own €2 trillion figure includes both EU spending and an estimated private sector participation.

The Parliament is not formally part of the negotiations on the EUs recovery plan, but MEPs will have to give their consent to any legislation that is linked to the EUs long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework. Fridays vote therefore puts additional pressure on the Commission, which has delayed the release of its recovery plan and is now due to issue its proposal May 27.

Parliaments text also pushes the Commission to support a greater role for MEPs in the process, with regular meetings between the presidents of the Parliament, Council and Commission to reach a common position on budgetary issues.

“It shows the Parliaments great will to be a protagonist in this phase,” the assemblys president, David Sassoli, told journalists after the vote. “It is a good and powerful message to the institutions and the countries.”

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has outlined a recovery plan that is not far from what MEPs are seeking. Earlier this week, she told MEPs that the plan would have three parts and would be financed by raising money on financial markets, and “all funding would be channeled through EU budget programs and thus subject to parliamentary oRead More – Source