Funding the recovery from COVID-19 and the lack of accountability
Saving the economy
You are likely among the many people experiencing or witnessing the devastating effects of COVID-19 on your financial situation, your job or your whole way of life. However, the COVID-19 crisis is not only leaving a deep mark on people’s individual lives, but also on the European economy. More importantly, it once more draws your attention to key principles of the EU, such as transparency and accountability, which always seem to come up when the EU finds itself in another crisis. Why are these concepts so important, especially in the context of COVID-19?
The Coronavirus pandemic has become synonymous with grim numbers - approximately 14 million cases and more than half a million deaths around the world.[i] Figures within Europe are equally staggering, but also stress the grave effect on the European economy. According to a recent analysis by the European Commission, the economy of Europe is expected to contract by a record 7,5 % (far more than the financial crisis of 2009) and international trade will ‘collapse unprecedentedly’,[ii] not counting the calamitous effect on unemployment and the pressure this will exert on states’ social security policies. The severity of the pandemic, coupled with the grim effect on the economy, shows the need for exceptional and rapid measures on the part of the EU.
As an answer to this unparallel crisis, the European Union quickly introduced the ‘Recovery Plan for Europe’.[iii] The plan is meant to contain and resolve the economic and social damage generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to establish long term courses for further recovery and preparedness for future crises of similar or bigger proportions.