Statement by President Sassoli on the EU recovery plan following meeting with MFF contact group
“Now is the time to be courageous and ambitious with the actions backed by the EU budget. Parliament must be a key player in this process together with other institutions, so it can contribute to making it the best possible tool to help the European economy and its citizens. It is urgent to find an agreement on the recovery plan and the next multiannual budget.
“Members had set very ambitious targets before the current crisis. It is not the time now to lower our ambitions and settle for a plan and a budget that would not be up to the challenges ahead.
“The recovery package must be sizable and add value, and must be embedded in a strong MFF. We must not lose sight of our long-term investments and strategic objectives. The crisis has increased the imbalance between European regions and the recovery plan should help to fill this gap.
“Means have to be available now for our Members States, companies and affected workers. Time is of the essence.
“As budgetary authority, the Parliament must be involved in the design of the recovery plan. We will also have a critical look at the revised MFF proposal and we reiterate the request for a contingency plan.
“Parliamentarians must have a full say on where the money is invested since they represent citizens and the common good. As it has demonstrated since the beginning of its mandate, the Parliament is not just a mailbox.
“The increase of own resources, announced by the Commission, is positive but it should be permanent and be accompanied by new types of own resources which remains a prerequisite to any agreement on the MFF.
“All of Europe is affected by the current crisis. We, as European leaders, must rise to the challenge. We must protect the most vulnerable among us. More than ever, Europe needs to be strong and work for all Europeans, who look to us now in this moment of crisis.
Note to editors
The European Parliament will adopt next week in plenary a resolution on the recovery plan.
The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2021-2027 will be at the core of this resolution and the EP will insist on safeguarding Parliament’s role. This is to provide democratic scrutiny, transparency, and accountability.
The Parliament will vote next week on a legislative initiative report proposing a Contingency Plan.
Once the Commission presents its new proposals, the Parliament will be ready to react quickly and define Parliament´s negotiation mandate in the June plenary.