Today the European Parliament has given a very important message to all European citizens and to the leaders who are due to meet at the European Council on 23 April. A message of ambition, a message of courage, a message of innovation.
And we at Renaissance played a central role in achieving this result. First by working on the economic response. An economic response based on the ECB, on the European Stability Mechanism, on the European Commission’s unemployment reinsurance scheme, as we proposed during the election campaign. A response based on the funds available to the regions, but above all on a new instrument that will enable us to mobilise new resources: the Recovery Bonds.
So far Europe has mobilised more than 1.700 billion euros to deal with the crisis and the Coronavirus emergency. We need to add at least another 500 billion. With the proposal of Recovery Bonds, bonds for economic and social recovery, which are perfectly consistent with the proposal for a Fund for economic and social recovery, presented by the French Government, in view of the Summit.
An important response, in which we played a central role, already within the Renew Europe group. Forces such as the DVV, the liberal party of Mark Rutte (Netherlands), were led to vote for this proposal. And in the negotiations with the other groups. What we presented was the maximum that the European People’s Party (of which Angela Merkel’s CDU is a member) could accept. It is the minimum that the Social Democrats and the Greens could accept.
It is therefore a very advanced compromise, which gives Parliament the opportunity to take a very strong position. A very strong position on the economy. A very strong position on health, because it is clear that we must do better and more as Europeans in the field of health. A very strong position also on rethinking the future while protecting the rule of law and our democracies. There is a very important message here: a state of health emergency cannot undermine the rule of law, democratic principles and fundamental freedoms. This is a clear message to Hungary and Poland.
It is also a strong commitment to significant and far-reaching reform of the European Union. President Macron is right: we must think the unthinkable. And the European Parliament has done something that was unthinkable. It has built a compromise between political groups on issues on which there had never been agreement before. The European Parliament expresses the voice of the citizens. If the European Council wants to find a clear and rapid solution, it only has to follow the indications and guidelines of the European Parliament, in which Renaissance and Renew Europe have played a central role for a stronger Europe, for a more political Europe, for a more social Europe and for a more democratic Europe.