Letter to European Parliament on EU Recovery Plan

Letters sent to President Sassoli and Leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament  

The European Trade Union Confederation welcomes the adoption by the Council of the €750bn EU Recovery Plan, which we believe is particularly good news for the 60 million people in the EU who depend on the recovery funds for their jobs.

It represents a very welcome change from the disastrous austerity-led response to the last crisis, from which Europe had not yet fully recovered when COVID-19 struck.

However, there are some aspects of the agreement reached by Council that are either negative or need clarification.

We urge you and all members of the European Parliament to support the recovery plan, to ensure that Europe has taken a long-term shift away from damaging austerity policies, and to put pressure on all involved to deliver the Plan’s timely implementation as the highest priority.

The Parliament has an important part to play in ensuring that key EU values and principles are fully respected, and that the above-mentioned critical elements are corrected. In particular this means:

  • making sure that the rule-of-law is upheld in all EU member states, and that those who flout it do not have access to EU financial support 
  • reversing the cuts to the Just Transition Fund as climate action is urgent and needs to create jobs, not destroy them, especially in regions heavily dependent on fossil-fuel and high-emission industries
  • reversing the cuts to health-related funding: if corona virus has taught us anything, surely it is the need to invest in health care and health care workers 
  • reversing the cuts to solvency support funding, which is crucial to addressing the restructuring processes companies have begun since the COVID outbreak
  • clarifying the governance/emergency brake mechanisms to avoid national recovery plans being held up in Council as a means of delaying payment, and above all to avoid the future imposition of damaging fiscal conditions and austerity measures that only made the last crisis longer and more painful
  • improving the EU’s own resources, to help member states repay the loans
  • preserving social investment in the MFF and reinforcing the ESF+
  • reinforcing the partnership principle in both MFF and Recovery Plan

The ETUC thanks you for your attention, and for all actions you can take to deliver an EU Recovery Plan that avoids the mistakes and pain of the last crisis, supports investment in quality job creation and in health care, boosts desperately urgent climate action that is socially just and leaves no worker behind, and contributes to restoring the European social model, social protection systems, social dialogue and workplace democracy.

Yours sincerely,

Luca Visentini

General Secretary, ETUC