Sassoli: Let us not reduce the EU to a continent-wide ATM

The Parliament expects a package of own resources to enter into force by 2023 at the latest

Photo: EU David Sassoli.

The pandemic gives us new responsibilities and duties, the responsibility to decide and the duty to do so in the interests of all, not just the few, said European Parliament President David Sassoli in his speech at the European Council Summit that started on Friday morning in Brussels. 

He stressed that “the idea of unlimited growth has been put to bed forever” and the time has come to decide how and where to grow, in the interests of our citizens and the planet.

Accenting that the recovery plan must help to transform the economy and combat worsening disparities, he urged that “we must take this crisis very seriously, because the social effects and job losses will spare no one”. The package of measures announced by the European Commission on 27 May is a decisive step in the long history of European integration.

The Commission has proposed, for the first time, to borrow up to €750bn on the financial markets as part of a new recovery tool and this is the essential device for Europe at this moment, President Sassoli outlined.  He specified that the Parliament supports this approach, the amount, and the distribution indicated between grants and loans.

 The EP President said also that the Parliament expect the introduction of a package of own resources with a commitment that they enter into force as soon as possible, and by 2023 at the latest.

Elimination of the rebates that some Member States receive, which are “unfair and difficult to justify” are also priorities for the Parliament, alongside a governance mechanism that ensures adequate democratic control over allocation of resources and the approval of national recovery plans.

Money that is borrowed together must be accompanied by governance that respects the Community method, he said noting that it would be unimaginable for a Europe that has decided on a common response to the crisis to then exclude the Parliament. “It would be a grave mistake to move backwards from the reforms to economic governance that have been implemented in Europe since the last financial crisis."

“I have to be frank - Parliament is disappointed by the MFF proposal on the table. For there to be a sustainable recovery, it is not possible to act without clear and long-term guarantees of funding. This is a fundamental condition for Parliament,” he said.

Stating that Europe has grown together based on common values, Sassoli urged :”Let us not reduce the European Union to a continent-wide ATM”. Parliament places great importance on good management of common resources and at the same time in respecting the principles of the rule of law. Solidarity and the benefits of the common market go hand-in-hand with respect for our values, he said.

In the past years we have been told that what benefits the rich would also benefit the poor and we all know that it has not worked out that way as too many decades, those who are born poor remain poor, he said accenting that the EP is calling for greater ambition for tackling inequalities.

“As you have well understood, Parliament will only give its consent to the MMF if it meets the priorities I have mentioned today. I say this with all due respect to your role, but also with the firmness that comes from the mandate I received from Parliament by a very majority that backed the resolution voted last May," EP President also said during the EU summit.

 

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