24 March 2020 – The ETUC is calling on the Eurogroup to support corona bonds, and the European Commission to postpone its EU economic-policy making Semester.
“It is time to launch the EU pandemic-bonds” said Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the ETUC. “Europe risks a recession even worse than the one following the financial crisis of 2008-9 and needs to invest in protecting jobs and the economy.”
“The Commission should also postpone the normal timetable of its economic policy-making Semester. Issuing economic recommendations in the middle of the corona virus crisis, especially on the fiscal positions of member states, just does not make sense.
“The recommendation on excessive government deficit in Romania issued in early March should be withdrawn.”
The ETUC calls on the Eurogroup to play its part in the package of measures to tackle face the social and economic impacts of the corona virus pandemic by issuing European debt securities.
The ETUC proposes that:
- EU-labelled bonds should be issued at close-to-zero interest rates.
- They should finance not only infrastructure and supplies for national health systems but also employment-related emergency measures.
- They should be issued through an EU vehicle, not an intergovernmental one, under democratic control, and support social progress and sustainability.
- The spending policy be entrusted to the European Commission (through schemes supporting unemployment and income compensation for workers suspended from their jobs, including non-standard and self-employed workers), in co-decision with the Council and the European Parliament and with social partners consulted.
European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)