On Tuesday 21st of July, during an EU Summit, EU leaders agreed on an EU recovery plan to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, and on a new long-term EU budget.
Considering the major economic and social challenges our cooperatives, along with other types of businesses, are dealing with, Cooperatives Europe is relieved that, after 4 days of negotiations, a political agreement was reached.
As outlined in our position paper relative to the coop response to the COVID-19 crisis, it is of utmost importance to implement an operational European Recovery Plan, as soon as possible, to boost the development, earning and job creation capacity of European businesses, including cooperative enterprises and social economy enterprises.
The COVID-19 crisis also highlights the importance of fostering sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development in partner countries as illustrated in our upcoming policy paper on international development.
However, Cooperatives Europe regrets some cuts in EU programs and policies, from previous proposals, such as InvestEU, Horizon 2020, NDICI, or Just Transition Fund.
Indeed, alongside the COVID-19 impact, Cooperatives Europe reminds that the new financial instruments to be adopted should also provide the resources needed to meet the priorities linked to the twin transition to a greener and more digital economy.
Agnès Mathis, Director of Cooperatives Europe, commented: “We are now living in crucial times, when decisive and timely policy actions are requested and essential to speed up the economic recovery of our businesses, including cooperatives, from the crisis. EU leaders must not forget that behind those businesses, there are people not only fighting for preserving their jobs and businesses, but also responding to the new challenges of the digital and green transition.”
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