European Parliament to deal with Corona outbreak

Ansar Ahmed Ullah

This Thursday the European Parliament will be holding a special plenary session so that the first measures to help people and business deal with the impact of the corona outbreak can be approved.

The Parliament is fully supporting unprecedented measures being taken by the EU to help member states deal with the pandemic and mitigate its effects. To play its part, the Parliament is doing everything it can to speed up the implementation of these initiatives.

During the session on 26 March, MEPs will debate and vote on the following measures including the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which will make €37 billion from the Cohesion funds available to EU countries to address the consequences of the crisis,

The Coronavirus outbreak presents a major challenge to the entire European Union. National, regional and local communities are on the frontline in countering the disease. Solidarity and responsibility across our societies and between Member States will be key to overcome this challenge. The benefit of collective and coordinated action as a community outweighs individual and parcelled responses.

The Commission has, therefore, proposed a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) to mobilise cohesion policy to flexibly respond to the rapidly emerging needs in the most exposed sectors, such as healthcare, SMEs and labour markets, and help the most affected territories in Member States and their citizens. To this effect, the European Commission made a series of proposals on 13 March 2020 to amend legislation that will allow Member States to benefit from more financial back-up and targeted assistance.

A legislative proposal will be presented to extend the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies and to stop the so-called ghost flights caused by the Covid-19 outbreak ,These proposals would also need to be approved by the Council in order to enter into force. Normally MEPs would have to be present in order to vote, but because of the corona outbreak special measures have been adopted to enable them to vote remotely.

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