There is a robust recovery plan in the works by the European Union to get member states out of the coronavirus crisis that will require strong coordination and adjustments of existing agenda, European Commission Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maros Sefcovic said in press remarks following an informal General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.
According to Sefcovic, the European Union and member states have already poured over 3 trillion euros ($3.2 trillion) into the economy to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and Europe can emerge "more sustainable and fairer " from this crisis.
"Strong coordination will also be the right formula once the threat posed by the virus starts abating and our economies start gradually emerging from hibernation. To this end, the Commission’s preparation of a major recovery plan is in full swing," Sefcovic said, referring to it as "a robust Marshall Plan for Europe's recovery" in a Twitter post.
Underlying the need for strong coordination along the path, he said the Commission would be "closely monitoring" that the response by individual member states be in line with the commonly accepted agenda.
"The Commission has made clear from the onset that emergency powers adopted in Member States must be limited in time and scope, subject to scrutiny, and our values cannot be compromised... As soon as we start having the pandemic under control, general states of emergencies with exceptional powers for governments should be replaced by more targeted interventions," Sefcovic said.
He said that the European Commission would adjust the rollout of its own work program this year to match with the major initiatives of the economic recovery. Sefcovic also said he had informed ministers that the bloc's next long-term budget would become the "cornerstone" of this recovery plan in a way to "power the economic comeback and support urgent investments."
Europe remains the main epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with close to 1.2 million confirmed cases and over 106,000 fatalities. With most of affected European countries having resorted to shutting their borders, existing coordination treaties such as the Schengen Agreement were practically rendered obsolete.