MEPs demand a unified EU response in fight against coronavirus

European Union flags
REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

MEPs have called for a unified European response in the bloc’s fight against coronavirus. 687 MEPs participated in the first vote of the special plenary to deal with coronavirus urgency measures.

The MEPs voted on the first batch of measures which were proposed by the European Commission to help member states tackle the pandemic in an efficient and coordinated way. The MEPs called for EU countries to collaborate and to keep internal borders open to allow medical equipment and goods to be delivered.

Lead MEPs from all political groups gathered in a special session in the Brussels chamber on Thursday while others followed the debate from home. 687 MEPs participated in the first vote to approve the urgency procedure.

European Parliament President David Sassoli said that the European Parliament would not cease to function despite the pandemic during the opening address.

“This is the only way we can serve people, serve our communities, and serve healthcare workers who are sacrificing themselves on the wards of our hospitals across Europe,” Sassoli said.

“The Parliament will continue to fulfil its democratic role”, he added.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized on the need for common action and the preservation of the single market .

“When we needed an ‘all for one’ spirit, many gave an ‘only for me’ response. But things are now improving. The free movement of goods and services is the only way to get supplies to where they are needed. Putting barriers between us simply makes no sense! Europe’s citizens will remember the decisions and actions we take today.”

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