Funds for European recovery must not be held hostage any longer
Millions of entrepreneurs, workers and NGOs urgently need concrete supportChrista Schweng , Brussels
In spite of the enormous challenges posed by the pandemic, European employers, workers and civil society organisations jointly urge all 27 Member States to deliver the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the EU's Resilience and Recovery fund.
We call on the Member States ahead of the European Council meeting to finalise the EU budget deal ensuring full compliance with democratic principles and the rule of law. Businesses, workers, NGOs across Europe are demanding the rapid release of money from both the EU budget and the Recovery Fund. Holding European citizens and values hostage to national ambitions in these difficult times is reckless and irresponsible.
There is no more time to lose. Millions of Europeans entrepreneurs, workers and NGOs urgently need concrete support to be able to deal with the devastating consequences of COVID-19. Families of all types are affected in all areas of their lives and require urgent reassurance that EU support will not fail them.
The time factor is especially crucial now due to the second wave of the pandemic. With every week that passes, companies are being forced to close down and jobs are being lost. Millions of working people and their families in all Members States are facing increasing hardship and insecurity. This is something the European Union cannot afford right now. They demand the immediate implementation of the promised economic and social Recovery.
Entering into a New Year with a provisional budget would also send a very bad signal to European citizens. In these difficult times, Europeans need stability and predictability more than ever. Today, focusing on a broader European angle instead of particular domestic interest should be a virtue of every European president and prime minister.
The European Economic and Social Committee through its members can see on a daily basis the incredibly difficult situation society is facing as a whole. It is our duty and responsibility to communicate these difficulties to the policy makers in Brussels. The EESC will continue to push for an immediate agreement on the MFF and Recovery and Resilience fund and once agreed will offer its full support and effort to ensure a rapid implementation and disbursement of the much needed funds.
Christa Schweng is President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). She made this declaration on the eve of the European Council meeting of 10-11 December.