Croatian MEPs Dissatisfied with EU Response to Crisis at Its Beginning

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 15, 2020 – Croatian MEPs Karlo Ressler, Tonino Picula and Valter Flego said on Wednesday they were dissatisfied with European institutions’ weak response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ressler (HDZ/EPP) said at a video press conference this was the EU’s “biggest crisis” since its establishment. “This is, in a way, the moment of truth for Europe because swift action and swift aid are needed now. Concrete solidarity is needed.”

He regretted the absence of a response by all member states at the beginning. “Attempts are being made to change that now.”

Flego (IDS/Renew Europe) said the EU “was again surprised by snow in January,” adding that Italy especially, the European country hit the hardest by the virus, had criticised the lack of European solidarity.

France and Germany were among the first to ban the export of medical equipment, which resulted in a rise in euroscepticism in Italy, with as many as 49% of Italians in favour of leaving the EU.

Picula (SDP/S&D) said European institutions were “slowly catching up.”

The measures to help the European economy will show that “the EU is coming out of the initially passive, insufficiently active phase into a proactive phase of dealing with the consequences of the pandemic,” he said, adding that the EU had suffered a “certain damage to its reputation” because of the initially absent common response to the crisis.

The three MEPs said a common European policy was needed for an adequate exit from the crisis.

“We should act together. It’s clear that the European measures are complementary. It’s clear we need to use every euro from the funds and programmes,” said Ressler, the EPP rapporteur on the European budget for 2021.

Picula hopes for a more resolute and Flego a more aligned response in the second stage.

The three MEPs agreed that the crisis is showing that it is important Croatia enter the euro area given that its member states will have more money at their disposal.

“This too shows how important it is that Croatia enter the euro area,” said Ressler.

“It’s indeed good that we are in the European Union and it’s a pity we are not in the euro area so we can use more money,” said Picula.

More news about Croatia and the EU can be found in the Politics section.


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