September 27, 2023

COVID-19: Local MEP calls for €1 TRILLION EU aid package for Ireland and member states

A local MEP has called for a new €1 trillion EU aid plan to help Ireland and member states to recover from the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.

Fianna Fáil MEP for Ireland South Billy Kelleher said the €1 trillion ‘Marshall Plan’ style reconstruction and recovery fund is needed to ensure the current Covid-19 health and economic crisis does not turn into a Great Depression.

“The European economy needs new money for investment and economic reconstruction. The fund should be secured by the European Budget itself and supported by the European Central Bank,” Mr Kelleher said.

“Similar to the Marshall Plan after World War II, it would fund major infrastructure projects to prepare Europe for the next challenges it will face. It should also fund the real economy and ensure that every citizen feels the value of EU membership,” added the Renew Europe ECON Committee member.

“The US Government has signed off already on a $2.2 trillion stimulus package with many workers receiving $1200 directly into their bank accounts today.

“During this week’s plenary votes, it has become clear that if we leave it up to individual member states to come up with proposals, the initiative will never get off the drawing board due to their own particular requirements and red lines.

“However, there is nothing to stop the European Commission, using its own right of initiation, to propose such a fund, and work with the European Parliament and the Member States, to have it improved and ultimately adopted.”

Mr Kelleher called on EU institutions such as the Eurogroup and the European Council “to take ownership of such an initiative” – and fast.

He added: The people of Ireland need no reminding how such dilly-dallying ends up; the same happened during the recession and Ireland was left carrying the can.

“If we allow bureaucracy and regional ideological differences to define the final EU response to Covid 19, we will fail our citizens. It is abundantly clear that citizens want, and are demanding that, the EU to step in and provide assistance. Now is the time to strike.”


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