Europe’s moment: ESN welcomes European Commission’s proposal on the Recovery Plan for Europe

“This is Europe's moment. […] Beyond showing solidarity to overcome the crisis of today, I want to propose a new generational pact for tomorrow.” stated European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen at the European Parliament on 27 May 2020.

At the European Parliament, Von der Leyen presented the new Recovery Plan for Europe, drafted by the Commission in response to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic on the European economy and society. With this Plan, the European Commission proposes a new European Recovery Instrument called “Next Generation EU”, a package proposal of 750 billion , to fund programmes aimed at mitigating the socio-economic crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The European Commission proposes the instrument to be embedded in a reinforced long-term budget of the EU for 2021-2027, which is to be amounting to 1,100 billion €, to fund the European Union’s priorities during the recovery phase from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The European Social Network welcomes the European Commission’s proposal. In particular, it welcomes the attention posed on the social aspects of the recovery plan, which are timely in this moment of crisis. The recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will need to keep the European Pillar of Social Rights as its compass, as rightly indicated in the communication about the recovery plan published by the Commission.

Truly representing the future generation, ESN welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to include the Child Guarantee in the Recovery Plan as well as the reinforcement of youth employment support, which will help young people get into education, training or work. Equality needs to be at the heart of the recovery. This is crucial in a crisis which has disproportionate impact on a number of groups in society. ESN welcomes the Commission’s actions regarding their work on elderly people and people with disabilities, hard hit by the virus and most secluded in their homes. Lastly, ESN welcomes the decision to increase the budget in the area of social infrastructure by 192 billion per year, an amount which is needed for investments in affordable housing, health and long-term care. In this regard, the involvement of local public social services will be of fundamental importance in the months to come, given their crucial role as implementers of social policy at the local level.

As stated by European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen, “our willingness to act must live up to the challenges we are all facing. […] This truly is Europe’s moment, the moment to demonstrate solidarity among EU Member States, generations, citizens and the European Union’s willingness to leave no one behind.

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