EU farce: 25 of 27 member states face legal action for breaking bloc’s rules

Coronavirus: David Sassoli on EU Parliament cancellations

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The European Parliament chief called for the entire EU economic system to be restructured in a major warning. President Sassoli claimed the pandemic had highlighted how the EU’s economic model would see 25 out of 27 members sanctioned by the Commission next year.

Mr Sassoli said the crisis brought about by the pandemic was a direct result of an economic system based on the maximalist exploitation of resources.

He claimed the health and economic crisis crippling the bloc highlighted, more than ever, the unsustainability of the EU’s economic model.

He called for a rethink of the economic governance instruments to help the EU’s economic recovery and transformation.

He said: “Given the situation, 25 out of 27 member countries risk an excessive deficit procedure, which would be a negative sign.

“I believe that the opening of procedures would be a negative signal for the very credibility of our rules.

“In this context it is necessary to rethink the instruments of European economic governance.”

Speaking after President Sassoli, Portuguese Parliament President Ferro Rodrigues also highlighted the need to review the EU’s economic governance instruments to avoid killing off the EU’s recovery.

“Progress must be made at EU level on the European pillar of social rights,” he said, stressing the pandemic has exacerbated social exclusion significantly.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgeva warned of uneven recoveries among countries, including in the EU itself, saying that, if left unchecked, this could lead to great divergence in 2021 and slower convergence of economies for decades.

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She also warned against cutting accommodative policies prematurely and said that such supportive fiscal policies should be accompanied by structural reforms to make economies greener and more digital.

Also speaking at the meeting, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen urged member states leaders to “make good use” of the EU’s Recovery Fund.

She said: “Seven European countries, including Portugal, have already ratified the Own Resources Decision – that is how we will fund NextGenerationEU.

“And I encourage all of you to do the same, as a matter of urgency. Because only with a ratified Own Resources Decision can we put fuel in the recovery. And the people of Europe cannot wait.

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“Our collective future is now entirely in your hands – the hands of the parliaments in Europe.”

She continued: “The next step will be to bring NextGenerationEU into life in each of your countries.

“Europe is providing every Member State with a unique opportunity to kind of restart its economy. It is up to you to seize this opportunity.”

The Commission leader admitted “we are not yet where we would like to be in combating the virus”, adding that the EU’s new HERA Incubator will serve as an extra tool to come out of the pandemic.

She concluded: “I have no doubt that Europe will recover.

“All countries, big and small, at the four corners of our continent will recover from this health crisis together.

“And when all 27 will have ratified the Own Resources Decision, kind of new oxygen will flow into our economy. NextGenerationEU is for all of Europe. And all of Europe will share in its success.

“In every capital, in every government and parliament across our continent.

“In other words: Europe needs all of you, all of us. Europe will be what we want it to be.

“So let us all get to work.”

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