GUE/NGL
News

European Parliament must declare a social emergency 

The Left group in the European Parliament calls on the EU to declare a social emergency in recognition of the social crisis of unprecedented proportions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, which has pushed millions of Europeans to the brink of desperation.

The EU has been slow to respond to, or recognise, the sheer magnitude of the health, economic and social crisis. Our healthcare systems are under heavy strain due to the Covid-19 pandemic, weakened by years of defunding, entire sectors of the economy are struggling to survive and millions of Europeans are losing their jobs, living in poverty and in precarious conditions.

Numbers don’t lie. In France, there were 600,000 job cuts during the first six months of 2020. In Italy, 3.7 million people have sought food aid. The forecast for 2021 is not expected to improve.

Under this bleak scenario, it is outrageous to see how inequality is increasing at a staggering rate. Millionaires have become billionaires, billionaires multiplied their fortunes, corporations have nakedly profited off the pandemic.

The EU must finally put social matters at the heart of its action. It must protect jobs and wages, defend our industries, strengthen workers’ rights, and invest in public services to face the crisis. It must give itself the necessary means to protect citizens, making the general interest and the common good the compass for its way out of the crisis.

MEP Leïla Chaibi (France Insoumise, France) says that Europe must break with what it used to be, in order to finally be the Union that the people need:

“All social indicators are in the red. Across the European Union, the health crisis has hit people hard.

“Precariousness and poverty are out of control. 72 million people were already living below the relative poverty line in the EU before the crisis. That’s a staggering one in six people! Now, many more workers are losing their jobs, millions more are struggling to make ends meet, more and more people need food assistance and are ending up in the streets.

“The dogma of austerity and competition must end. The EU should act immediately and put social issues at the heart of its policies.

“Given the unprecedented situation and how untenable things have become for EU citizens, we call on the European Parliament to declare a state of social emergency,” Chaibi concluded.

Related Meps