19 May, 2020

Covid-19: Statement from the Spanish Committee of the European League for Economic Cooperation – LECE- about the current crossroad for the social and economic reconstruction in Europe

Covid-19: El Comité Español de la LECE ha aportado la 2a Declaración dirigida a los responsables gubernamentales de España y de las instituciones de la UE, con el propósito de aportar el criterio de esta asociación europeísta fundada en 1956 sobre el momento actual de reconstrucción social y económica de Europa.

The Spanish Committee of the ELEC, has approved this second Declaration addressed to Spain’s government officials and the institutions of the European Union, with the aim of providing the criteria of this pro-European association, funded in 1956 about the current moment of the social and economic reconstruction in Europe, after the crisis of the COVID19. Nevertheless, we want to express that the priority continues to be healthcare and research into a vaccine and the improvement of treatments for infected citizens.

In this link you can download the Statement

The starting point of the Declaration is the next European Council in June. There a European Reactivation Plan presented by the European Commission must be approved in the face of the social and economic crisis generated by Covid-19. Given this reality, the LECE Spanish Committee advocates the following considerations:

1. That the European Recovery Plan, as a response to the social and economic crisis generated by Covid19 in Europe, should be economically powerful enough (€2.5-3 trillion) to ensure that the social problems caused are overcome, and to effectively reactivate the European economy under renewed criteria, which will lay the foundations for the recovery of the European economy in coming decades.

2. That this political decision, which must be adopted, should be carried out resolutely and without delay at the next European Council meeting of EU member countries’ Heads of State and Government in June. European citizens need this decision to be made without delay.

3. That this European Recovery Plan should be adopted unanimously by all countries, and that it should convey to the world that the values and ultimately the model of European cooperation are effective in responding to the current challenge caused by the pandemic.

4. That this Recovery Plan for European society and economy should contain:
a) Diversity in its content, through grants, loans, guarantees and public investment.
b) Flexibility in its application throughout the European territory, and symmetry when weighing up action proportional to the damage caused by the pandemic in each Member State.
c) An effect on the social sectors at greatest risk, and should be accessible to the self-employed and SMEs, so as not to leave anybody behind.
d) Optimization and Combination of criteria of joint and several guarantees of the Member States, at the same time with criteria of individual guarantee from the States for the risks that are needed.
e) Reinforcement of the European Union’s current economic instruments, in order to better quantify them and make them more effective in Europe’s recovery.
f) Consideration of the objectives of the fight against climate change that have already been put forward by the Commission as a differential growth lever.

5. That this European Recovery Plan should be clearly social and competitive, with an impact on the priority of contributing to the preservation of employment, and Europe’s business and productive structure

6. That this Recovery Plan should allow the European Union Budget instrument to be strengthened, configured by the contributions of the 27 Member States.

7. That the ECB should continue its current policy of buying public and private assets, both this year and next year, with the aim of continuing to guarantee the necessary liquidity of the system, and through its public institutions, financial institutions, companies and the self-employed, under favourable conditions and in accordance with the times of crisis in which Europe finds itself. As a consequence, doubling the current estimates of funds for this purpose should be considered (+ €750 billion.)

8. We value highly the initiative, still in preparation, of the European Union, in order to drive for a European Equity Fund, to invest directly in the capital in systemic European companies. This would be particularly important to drive to the companies in European states with reduced fiscal space, and therefore, reinforcing the project of the construction of the European Union.

9. The project of constructing the European Union should be reinforced. If the Member States of the European Union asks to mutualize Europe’s economic aid they should, in turn, adopt appropriate decisions to better enable Europe to respond and to be able to more effectively face the challenges being faced by the world right now.

The majority of European citizens want a joint response to the effects of the crisis to be pushed through. European governments must know how to construct this response. There is no doubt, Europe finds itself at a crossroads. Jean Monnet said that a united Europe would move forward based on a crisis. This one should serve to achieve a greater degree of economic, social and political integration.