JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The European Commission will bring forward a coronavirus response investment fund of EUR25 billion (US$28.41 billion) to help the healthcare systems, small medium enterprises, and labour markets, said the president today (03/11).
“The investment will be sizable and reach EUR25 billion quickly. To realise this, I will propose to Council and Parliament this week to release EUR7.5 billion of investment liquidity. I will set up a Task Force to work with Member States to ensure that the money starts flowing in the coming weeks,” said Ursula von der Leyen in an official statement.
During European Union (EU) leaders’ videoconference on the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the commission received a mandate to further step up its response to the epidemic. She continued, the block will make a daily phone conference with the health ministers and the ministers of internal affairs to coordinate the necessary measures.
She said, the organization is now taking stock of the available protective equipment and respiratory devices as well as their production and distribution capacity. On research and development, the Commission will reinforce the European initiative to fund targeted research on the coronavirus.
“We have mobilized EUR140 million of public and private funding for promising research on vaccines, diagnosis and treatment,” adds by von der Leyen.
On the economic front, said the president, the block must act at the macro-economic level and will use all the tools to make sure the European economy weathers the storm. According to her, the Commission will play its full part with no delay.
“We will make sure that state aid can flow to companies that need it and we will make full use of the flexibility which exists in the Stability and Growth Pact. I will come with concrete ideas before the Euro group on Monday,” she added.
In order to quickly direct the funds to deal with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis, the Commission will propose to relinquish this year its obligation to request refunding of unspent pre-financing for European structural and investment funds currently held by Member States.
The members will be required to use these amounts to speed up their investments under the structural funds. They will use this for the national co-financing they would normally have had to provide themselves in order to receive the next tranches of their structural fund envelopes.
While, president of European Central Bank (ECB) stated, the coronavirus outbreak is a fast developing situation, which creates risks for the economic outlook and the functioning of financial markets. The Bank, she claimed, is closely monitoring developments and their implications for the economy, medium-term inflation and the transmission of our monetary policy.
“We stand ready to take appropriate and targeted measures, as necessary and commensurate with the underlying risks,” said the president by adding her officials are looking at all their tools for Thursday’ policy decision.
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